drone career path

7 unexpected drone career paths if you want to work with UAVs

You don’t just have to be an engineer or drone pilot to have a drone career.

Sure, those jobs are fairly common. But some of the best, most unique and fun drone career paths are a lot more unexpected. After all, there’s a lot more than goes into drones than flying and building them.

Drones can merge your other passions — animals, art, genealogy, the environment, or pretty much any other subject area you can think of.

You name it, and there’s a career path out there that can incorporate a drone (though no guarantees there’s a predecessor who has done it).

Here are 7 unexpected, but absolutely brilliant career paths that involve drones:

1. Beekeeper:

While many bee populations are dying, drones could play a role in reviving it. That’s good for the environment, pollinating all sorts of plants — and maintaining our dwindling honey production.

Thanks to a product from Australian technology startup Bee Innovative, now melittologists (that’s a fancy word for bee scientists) can use a drone with “BeeDar” to track honeybees in real time for precision pollination. That data can be used to reduce disease among bees, while increase pollination (which helps all plants).

2. Theatre choreographer:

Cirque du Soleil, the mesmerizing Canadian-best theater group, has an act in one of their shows that involves drones. The New York-based, Broadway outpost of Cirque du Soleil’s show called “Paramour” actually featured 8 drones disguised as lampshades for one scene. And yes, the drones fly in sync with each other in a routine every night on stage.

Léa Pereyre drone costume designer verity
Léa Pereyre is a “Drone Costume Designer” at Swiss drone company Verity Studios AG.

3. Costume designer:

On that note, who designs those lamp shade “costumes” for the drones? Léa Pereyre actually holds the job title of “Drone Costume Designer.” aShe’s designed “costumes” for drones that make them look like birds, fish and more.

Sorell Miller, then 12, flies his drone at the National Drone Racing Championships on Governors Island in 2016 in New York City.

5. Summer camp counselor:

Yes, drone summer camp is a thing. Organizations like SPIRE are now hosting drone summer camps. Some, like the SPIRE drone summer camp have focus areas (their’s is drone racing). Others are general STEM camps, with a focus on drones. Some focus on racing drones, while others focus on drones for kids, like the Tello.

If you’re passionate about kids, teaching and yes, summer camp, you could find yourself sharing that in a role as not just any summer camp counselor, but a drone summer camp counselor.

5. Beer maker:

Never drink and drone! But, you can use a drone to make your beer-making operations more efficient.

For example, Czechoslovakian beer giant Pilsner Urquell has used the collision-tolerant Elios drone to run inspections of its bottling factory in the Czech Republic. They have said that using drones to inspect the 7-and-a-half-acre Pilsner Urquell bottling plant saves time, money and employees from potentially dangerous situations.

And at Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewing, drones are helping to brew beer.

Yes, drones are literally flying hops across the factory and pouring them directly into the brew tank. A payload on the drone has a motorized scoop to carry and deliver the hops.

Courtesy of Parley for the Oceans/Ocean Alliance

6. Whale researcher:

Gathering whale DNA sounds like a whale of a task. But add in a drone, and it’s easy. Scientists have figured out that they can actually mount DNA collection devices on drones. And you don’t need any fancy gear. A fairly, simple, straightforward drone, like the Yuneec Typhoon, can handle it.

By flying them over whales as they blow fluid in the air, scientists can collect better samples at less risk and at lower cost than traditional methods. Plus, it’s totally noninvasive — the whale has no idea what even happened.

Jiankou Great Wall of China Intel drone Falcon 8+
An Intel Falcon 8+ drone is ready for flight. Image courtesy of Intel.

7. Historical architecture preservationist:

Historical preservation architects are using drones to showcase history, and keep it alive and in good shape for future generations.

For example, The Great Wall of China is currently undergoing a big restoration project. In that project, an Intel Falcon 8+ worked to capture more than 10,000 hi-res aerial images that were stitched together to create a 3D model of the Great Wall. Not only can the images create a digital replica, but the drones enable conservation teams to produce a more effective repair schedule in a matter of days vs. the manual process, which requires a tape measure and visual inspection by people over a monthlong period.classroom teachers always need to know.

What crazy-awesome job have you seen in the drone industry? Or what crazy-awesome drone career do you aspire to have? Leave a comment below!


  • Robert Allan says:

    Familiar with an environmental consulting firm that miniaturized a sophisticated sensor down to the size of a Pringle’s can. It’s used to monitor radiation levels at DOD sites and at several points in the mining and processing of uranium. This replaces a low flying helicopter that stirs up dust, or sending someone in a hazmat suit to painstakingly measure ground level radiation in some pretty hostile environments. Have worked with another company that’s was deploying drones to measure toxic gases emitted by government rocket tests.

  • William Pryor says:

    I would like to start up a company using drones for will pipeline leaks and where you fly over and you be able to tell if the pipelines got a leak. Plus I’m really interested in the B-politation thing for beehives stuff

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