Drone pilot | Average UK Salary & Outlook

Drone pilots remotely operate aircraft used in work like surveying, filmmaking and aerial photography.

  • Test performance of electromechanical assemblies, using test instruments such as oscilloscopes, electronic voltmeters, or bridges.  
  • Read blueprints, schematics, diagrams, or technical orders to determine methods and sequences of assembly.  
  • Inspect parts for surface defects.  
  • Install electrical or electronic parts and hardware in housings or assemblies,
Read more about Drone pilot

Drone pilots typically work around 39 to 41 hours per week.

As a Drone pilot you will typically work freelance / self-employed.

This occupation tends to be:

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely
  • Read more about Drone pilot
    * from ONETonline
    Average salary
    97,608 GBP *
    per year
    * data taken from the Office of National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
    Average salary for Drone pilot
    • 103,798 GBP
    Average salary for full-time Drone pilot

    • 97,608 GBP
    • 103,798 GBP
    Salary over time for Drone pilot

    Pay for this role has decreased slightly over time
    • 94,182 GBP
    • 87,447 GBP
    • 87,322 GBP
    • 84,307 GBP
    • 78,221 GBP
    • 86,204 GBP
    • 97,608 GBP
    • 75,903 GBP
    • 53,152 GBP

    Future outlook for Drone pilots

    Very good outlook
    8 000+ jobs available
    Fair outlook
    -7% yearly wage growth (on average)
    Very good outlook
    28% chance of automation in the future

    Drone pilot - Your future job?

    Which qualifications do I need?

    Find out what you need to know in order to become a Drone pilot and the highest average level of education for people in this role.

    In terms of people already doing this job:

    • 41% of people in this role have a Diploma of Higher Education or equivalent
    • 30% of people in this role have a post-secondary qualification such as a Higher National Diploma
    • 13% of people in this role have GCSEs or equivalent

    You can apply for jobs directly. Most employers will expect you to have experience of flying drones, with at least 40 hours of recorded flying time.

    Get the right qualification to begin your journey to becoming a Drone pilot


    What soft skills do I need?

    Rise above the competition by brushing up on the 5 most important soft skills you need to become a Drone pilot.
    Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly
    Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action
    Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance
    Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it
    Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems

    What technical skills do I need?

    Technical skills are programmes, softwares and things you need to know in order to be a successful Drone pilot. Check that you know:
    Computer aided design CAD software
    Development environment software National Instruments LabVIEW
    Enterprise resource planning ERP software
    Industrial control software Human machine interface HMI software; Motion control software; Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
    Operating system software Linux
    Improve your skills today


    Things to highlight for your Drone pilot interview

    Attention to Detail Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. Initiative Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. Dependability Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. Persistence Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. Achievement/Effort Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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