Deregulation and a billion dollars in venture capital this year are fueling a hot job market in drone related industries. According to Inc.com, the drone industry is creating a workforce as large as that of private school teachers in the U.S.—about 400,000 people. Finding the right staff to support that growth can be a challenge. Let’s take a closer look at this boom, and the specific skills companies are looking for when it comes to leveraging the power of UAVs with human resources.
A Need for Operators and Educators
Using the U.S. as an example, realizing that there was a clear need for more licensed drone operators, the FAA created a new commercial drone pilot licensing program in 2016. In the first three months of the program, 300 new drone operators were licensed every business day. This still falls far short of the number of commercial drones registered in the same period of time—2,000 a day, but it was a good start. In addition to a need for drone operators, the booming UAV industry is driving demand in sub-industries. For example, colleges and universities large and small are adding drone education to their curricula.
It’s not just UAV companies looking to hire good people with an interest in drones. Companies in many different industries are in need of UAV personnel as they engage with this tool. Mike Hogan, Director of Sales for Microdrones, recently participated in the brand new Microdrones podcast: Propelling. “We work with a lot of geomatics professionals who want to increase their productivity,” he said, and “They want tools to help them do their work. Microdrones’ goal is to build solutions for professionals. We’re not just offering a drone. What we’re offering is a complete solution to help professionals work efficiently and make money.”
Specific Skills and a Flexible Growth Mindset
Instead of focusing on hiring people who love drones, companies who want to get the most out of their UAVs should look for personnel with technical skills such as experience with GIS (Geographical Information Systems), essential to automated flight. Another valuable skill is photogrammetry, or how to turn captured images into high quality maps and 3D models. According to a recent piece on Dronelife.com, companies are generally looking for employees who are smart, flexible, collaborative, and problem solvers. Drone technology is changing quickly, so prospective employees need to be big thinkers who aren’t afraid to keep learning.
Hogan emphasizes that a drone is only as good as the people behind it: “With UAVs, you are actually able to collect information in a different way. Now you have another tool in your toolbelt, but it doesn’t replace people. With a drone, professional surveyors can collect data now, this afternoon, tomorrow morning—it’s really open to them. You’re not as reliant on clouds or satellite time. The paradigm shift is accessibility to geospatial data.”
Microdrones continues to Grow in 2018
With more than 120 employees worldwide, Microdrones is rapidly expanding its global footprint. If you are interested in using technology to help people work more efficiently and safely, check out our open positions by clicking here.