Did you Know You Can Make Money Flying Drones? Here’s How


The concept of flying drones might seem a bit out of this world (see what I did there?) but it’s not all that crazy. In fact, there is rumor (I saw it on the news so it must be true, right?) that with the introduction of Amazon’s drone flying service comes the idea that it won’t be long before drones are doing most of our work in just about every capacity you could potentially imagine. And while I certainly do not think that drones are here to take over the world, I do think that you can make some pretty good money flying them yourself. Don’t believe me? Well, that’s only because you haven’t yet seen the proof that flying drones is actually something you can do to make a little money on the side and move on in the business world. Just take a look at how you can earn money flying drones in your own life.

Start with a permit

If you don’t have the correct permits, your drone flying is considered a hobby and cannot earn you any money. What you’ll need to do to become a permitted drone flying person is to contact the FAA and speak to them about a commercial permit. This permit will give you the right and the ability to use your drone to do just about anything from legally fly it to recording weddings, natural disasters and anything else that you feel is worthy of recording and selling to the public for a nice profit. You have to have a permit if you plan on using a drone to do anything that is business related, from taking real estate photos to taking survey photos. See, we aren’t even a minute into this and we have already named at least three ways you can use your drone to make money on the side – or even as a full time business – and all you have to do to get started is speak to the FAA about a permit. Get one; it’s not worth it not to have one, I can assure you of this.

What you’ll need to do is send a petition to the FAA under the Section 333 exemption. It’s easy to look it up to see what kind of information is required to apply for the permit, but it does include information that pertains to you and your own life, as well as a thorough description of your personal drone. If you cannot provide this information, you will not be granted the permit you need to use your drone to earn any income. You’ll want to come up with a business plan, too. The FAA requires that you outline what it is you plan on doing with the footage you obtain from using your drone. The more specific you are, the better your chances of getting a permit become.

It’s important to understand that it might take as many as four months to get a permit, and the FAA has only approved a little more than 700 of them to date, and just because you find a way to obtain a permit does not mean that you can use your drone to do whatever you want. You have to follow the FAA’s very strict guidelines or risk losing your permit or even facing fines. So now that you know how to get a permit and use your drone, what might you use it for? We have some suggestions that might earn you a bit of money once you have a permit and are legally able to do business flying your drone around the city or municipality in which you reside.

Wedding Videographer

If you have a drone and can take a video or photos from above, you might be hired to do just that for couples. Those who get married are often very invested in getting the most amazing photos and videos of their big day, and this is often one of the things that couples are more than happy to spend their money on. These photos and videos are worth a lot of money, and can become very lucrative to you.

Become a Reporter of Sorts

It’s not that easy for people to get into a fire or to get into an erupting volcano or to get right on top of a major boat or car accident, but your drone can do just that with ease. You won’t really become a reporter using this method, but you can sell your work to the local news outlets in your area. If the story is good enough, you can also sell your work to bigger news outlets across the country. It’s very important to remember, though, that you cannot sell your work without a permit. It’s not legal for news outlets to accept it from you if you are not permitted, and they will not even bother doing business with you.

Real Estate Photos

Selling a home or renting a home to the general public means that realtors need good photos. They actually need amazing photos. Realtors need the kind of photos that allow them to sell a home with just a photo. That means that aerial shots that will show an entire property are often needed in many situations, and hiring a helicopter to take a shot like this is out of the question for many realtors. So that’s where drone work comes in handy for them. They simply hire someone to take the photos with a drone, pay them and then take their amazing photos and run with them.

Land Surveying

Those who make maps and thinks of that nature have to have this from the air, and it’s a lot more cost-effective for them to pay someone to fly their drone over a particular area than it is for the company to hire a photographer and a helicopter to do this work for them. Get into this game and you might be pleasantly surprised just how much money you can earn doing this particular job.

Photo by Philipp Guelland/Getty Images


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