How to Make Money with a Drone: 6 Proven Ways

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Do you want to learn how to make money with a drone? This article gives you easy tips on how you can achieve just that

Sometime back, there were limited opportunities for making money with drones. This was either because people didn’t know them well or just because they were only used by government agencies. However, this isn’t the case anymore. Currently, there are more ways to make money with a drone than you can imagine.

Whether it’s aerial photography or aerial surveillance, these gadgets have taken aerial imagery to another level. Today we will not only learn how to make money with a drone but also understand which the best drones to do so are.

So, if you have a drone or are planning to buy one, this piece gives top insights into turning your drone hobby into a money-generating venture.

drone with camera

Drones 101: How to Make Money with a Drone

1. Sell Aerial Photos and Footage

When the topic of how to make money with a drone comes up, this is the first thing that runs in many people’s minds – selling aerial images and videos. Well, it’s not without a good reason!

Drones are the best devices to capture aerial photos and videos, and anyone can turn this into a profitable business. So, instead of just taking the images for fun or as a hobby, you can also make some good bucks out of it.

Generally, you have two main options to make money through this avenue. First, you can identify unique and charming sites or landmarks to capture and then sell these images to interested people. Secondly, you can capture unique aerial images and videos on request and get paid.

However, whichever option you choose, exceptional-quality photos and videos are needed. This means that you must be willing to spend money on acquiring the right equipment.

A drone such as “DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0,” would be a great option here. This device will allow you to capture top-quality photos or videos that people will undoubtedly love. And, you can advertise your work on social media platforms like Facebook, Tiktok, or Instagram and let your followers rate your work.

2. Open a YouTube Channel

If photography is your passion, why not share it with the rest of the world and make some money while at it? The internet offers some of the best places to showcase your photography prowess and even earn money from it.

If you are still trying to figure out how to make money with a drone, YouTube has the answers. All you need to do is compile some of your best work and publish it on a YouTube channel. If YouTube users love what they see and subscribe to your channel, you can easily start earning from YouTube’s Partnership program.

However, you must reach a certain threshold in terms of watch hours, views, and subscribers, to start making money. The good thing about YouTube is that money-making options are limitless. Here, your creativity and effort determine how much money you can earn.

3. Capturing Moments at Weddings and Events

Recently, this has become one of the most popular and easiest ways to make money with a drone. Photographers and videographers are using drones to capture some of the most memorable moments in weddings and other events and getting paid for it.

People are looking for the best shots in their events to retain these moments. And for this, they are willing to pay handsomely to achieve this. If you have a drone that can capture top-quality images and videos, this is an excellent way to make some money from that drone.

And, this is not only popular at weddings. You can be paid to capture those special moments in other events, including sporting matches or even fun moments like skydiving or zip-lining. Organizers also use some of this footage to advertise their brands, while others will just keep them for memories.

Whichever way, you can certainly make some good money here.

4. Make Money with Real Estate Aerial Photography

Aerial photography is quite essential in the real estate industry. Real estate agents want to offer the best images and videos of their properties to attract potential clients. And, drones are the best devices to capture such footage.

This is especially important when they have to post these images and videos online. Since some potential clients can’t physically visit the property, the agents must provide images that offer a feeling of actually being there.

With a drone, you can capture every part of the property, right from the ground to the roofing of a house. Also, with aerial views, you can capture even the nearby landmarks and properties that surround the property of interest. This gives the client a comprehensive view to help make their decision.

However, to make the best images and footage, you will also need editing tools and apps. For instance, you can try out Premiere Pro or Photoshop apps while adding overlays to the videos and photos.

5. Aerial Surveying and Mapping

aerial surveying and mapping

Drones have also made aerial surveying and mapping quite easy and efficient. This is one area that can earn drone pilots some pretty good money.

However, this is more time-consuming and requires top-quality drones. For example, the pilot needs to fly the drone over a specified area and collect images to be compiled and sewed together using mapping software.

Aerial surveying and mapping are quite popular with companies in various industries such as construction, mining, energy, etc. And, if you are good with your gadgets, you can reap good profit from such projects- either as an independent contractor or a company’s drone pilot.

But, this one requires training. Luckily, you can get online lessons and courses on aerial surveying and mapping to get started.

See related: How to Get Free Money on Cash App: 5 Easy Ways

6. Military Drone Pilot Jobs

Military and Security agencies have numerous uses for drones. And they require drone pilots for these jobs. If you are a good drone pilot, you can apply for some of these jobs through the relevant websites and start making money.

The good thing is that you’ll not only be doing what you love but also doing it for a greater cause. Remember, these drones can be used to protect a nation against attacks, provide crucial information to the government for necessary actions, or even save lives in situations where humans can’t.

How much Money do Drone Pilots Make?

By now, we have a clue of how to make money with a drone. But, how much money can one make with that drone?

There are three ways you can make money as a drone pilot. And these will also determine how much money you make. These options include:

  • Industry Professionals

As mentioned earlier, various industries like mining, construction, public safety organizations, etc., have a higher demand for aerial images and videos. For this reason, some companies are employing full-time drone pilots for their aerial surveys and rescue missions.

According to various job listing websites like Glassdoor, the median salary range for drone pilots in such industries is between $73,000 and $115,000 annually. This means that you can live a decent life as a drone pilot, depending on the industry and your level of expertise.

  • Self-employed Drone Pilot

Here the amount of income a drone pilot earns greatly varies. This is because some projects and clients will pay more than others. In addition, if you are well-known and your reputation precedes you, clients are more willing to part with more money for your services.

In essence, since you’ve opened your own drone service business, you determine how much money you charge for different projects.

  • Freelance Drone Pilots

Freelancing has covered almost every sector, and drone piloting is not left behind. This means you can get drone pilot jobs from various freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork,, etc.

As a freelancer drone pilot, you can manage to earn between $300 and $800 per project. This will depend on the type of project and the site you’ve decided to join.

Also, besides the freelance platforms, there are several other sites like Dronebase, specifically designed to connect qualified drone pilots and clients. It’s like a directory offering clients a list of certified pilots. So, if you still don’t know how to make money with a drone, getting listed on such a site is an excellent point to start.

What is the Best Drone on the Market?

package delivery drone

When choosing the best drone for you, several factors come into play. For instance, what is the purpose of the drone? Also, who is using the drone, and what is your budget range? Remember, you must find the best drone for the money you have.

While drones like the DJI Mavic Phantom 4 tops the list of the best drones in the market, various situations require different drones. To better understand this, let’s look at the following scenarios:

What is the Best Drone for Kids?

If you are looking for some quality drones for your kids, these ones will work perfectly:

What is the Best Drone for Beginners?

For beginner drone pilots, you need a drone that isn’t too complicated to operate or even too expensive. Here are two brands you can try out.

What is the Best Racing Drone?

FPV (first-person flying view) racing has increasingly become a popular form of sport. Some organizations have even commercialized this sport. They hold various events, such as the “World Drone Racing Championships,” where drone pilots compete to win prizes and world recognition.

So, what is the best FPV drone? Well, any of these two models will serve you well.

What is the Best Drone with a Camera?

How Much Weight can a Drone Carry?

Drones are useful for many purposes. Also, these devices come in different carrying capacities and sizes.

Generally, most drones are powered by batteries and can fly for a specified period of time – mostly 15 to 30 minutes per charge. However, some drones can fly for up to 2.5 hours or more, depending on the battery size.

When it comes to carrying capacity, smaller drones carry loads of up to 5 pounds, while larger ones can lift even over 20 pounds. Various drones can be customized to carry more weight depending on the industry’s needs.

So, depending on what you are looking for, ensure you confirm the drone’s specifications before making the purchase.

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