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How To Make Money With Drones: 10 Easy Ways

Learn how to make money with drones in this in depth guide to starting your own UAV side hustle!

Maybe you got a drone for the holidays and would like to put it to good use. Well read on as there are lots of ways you can make money with drones!

Drones are becoming more and more popular, and it’s no wonder why. They’re a ton of fun to fly, and they can be used for all sorts of purposes.

If you’re looking to make some money with your drone, there are a few things you can do.

In this blog post, we’ll outline four different ways that you can make money with your drone. So if you’re ready to start making some cash, keep reading!

how to make money with drones

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10 Ways To Make Money With Drones 

1. Aerial Photos & Footage

make money with aerial photography

Drone photography can be a profitable business, and you can make moneys selling your stock photos online

If you live near some famous landmarks or beautiful countryside, this might be a drone side hustle worth pursuing.

Uploading images and videos to stock photo websites can lead to income even if you offer your images on free-to-use sites at first.

Here is a list of stock photography sites you can sell your aerial images on.

To make money, it can help to have a YouTube channel and build a following. Alternatively, you could start a blog that shows off your work and sell prints of it.

There are many ways to monetize your work, including selling ads, promoting products in videos, and more.

One way to advertise your work is through social media sites like Instagram or Facebook.

You can also sell aerial photos and footage through online platforms like eBay or Craigslist.

2. Aerial Surveying

aerial surveying

Drones can be used for aerial surveying, which is a type of photography that is used by archeologists and builders amongst others who need to know more about a certain piece of land.

Aerial Surveying is used for:

  • Cartography (map making)
  • Urban Planning
  • Land development

Experts who need surveying love using drones for a number of reasons.

A drone makes it possible to carry out topographic surveys in a fraction of the time traditional methods take but without skimping on quality.

This can make using drones a really cost effective option that is in demand.

How to get started as an aerial surveyer?

.Aerial surveying requires skill and knowledge in aerial photography, as well as a certification to offer consumer services.

To succeed in aerial surveying, you need to provide the best quality photography services possible.

You can promote your business by running ads, getting referrals, and posting online.

3. Aerial Wedding Videography & Photography

aerial wedding photography

Wedding photography and videography is a very popular, profitable business that is growing more and more.

Many couples are looking for drone videos or photos for their outdoor weddings and to give a whole new perspective to their special day.

The nice thing about this way to make money with a drone is that you will only work on weekends making a great side hustle.

Of course, you will have to get permission from the venue to fly overhead but other than that, you are good to go.

The other thing to bear in mind that in some countries, for example, Canada, you cannot take aerial photography without a ground supervisor in addition to the pilot.

That means you will need a team of two in order to make money with your drone at weddings.

To get started as drone wedding videographer, you have two options:

  1. Partner with a beautiful venue that lends itself to drone photographer and ask if they will offer your services to clients as part of a package.
  2. Advertise for wedding couples yourself and work a variety of venues.

As a drone wedding photographer, you can expect to charge between $300-$2000 per wedding depending on the package and editing required.

4. Building Inspections

make money with a drone

Drone pilots can make a lot of money checking roofs for storm damage and making sure buildings are structurally secure.

To be hired for these jobs, you need to prove your skills as both a drone pilot and camera operator.

To get started, learn about the industry you are interested in and what their needs are for inspections.

5. Reselling Drones

make money reselling drones

Drones can be resold for a profit via online stores, online marketplaces, or even your own store.

The idea is that you buy popular drones at wholesale prices and then resell them for a profit.

This can be a great way to make extra money if you are willing to either work via Amazon FBA or start your own Shopify store.

6. Real Estate Promotion

how to use a drone for real estate photos

Real estate agents want drone shots that highlight a property that they are selling.

Aerial footage captured by drones can provide a different perspective of a house or a hotel and persuade buyers to sign the deal.

This can be a really lucrative way to make money with drones because you can work for several realtors at once.

Earning potential ranges from $250 to $1,000 per short aerial video shot, and up to $500 per still picture taken with your drone.

There is a high demand for real estate property photography as many buyers now expect good quality videos and aerial views of homes.

Real estate agents are willing to pay more because of the better conversion rates that can be achieved with drone photography.

7. Commercial Advertising

using a drone for commercial photos

Lots of companies are turning to drone footage to give customers a “birds-eye” view of their property or land.

In real estate, the hotel business and other industries, everyone is looking to stand out from the crowd and drone videos are one way that people are using.

Aerial footage captured by drones can provide a different perspective of a house or a hotel and persuade buyers to sign the deal.

People are often more willing to commit to a hotel if they can get a view of the entire property.

Another option for making money with your drone is by working on low-altitude banner advertising.

We’ve all seen those banners flown by small planes at the beach and the new thing is to use drones for the same purpose.

Many companies, especially those on the coast, find sky advertising a great way to get new clients.

8. Drone Deliveries

deliveries with drones

You probably know that companies such as Amazon are now using drones to deliver your orders right to your front door.

Medical facilities, national institutions, and charity organizations also use drones for delivering supplies in hard-to-reach places.

9. Private Investigation

how to make money with drones

Fancy becoming a spy? Private investigators use drones for surveillance operations as they can reach places that would otherwise be hard to see.

Bear in mind if you decide to go this route that you need to check the laws in your area to make sure you are allowed to record videos and footage without permission from the subject.

10. Search & Rescue

how to make money with a drone

Drones are an amazing tool for search and rescue efforts in affected areas.

Traditional search methods like helicopters and trained dogs can’t get to remote areas with difficult terrain.

Smart remote UAVs can provide video footage to public safety officials in real-time, thus saving many lives in areas affected by natural disasters.

They are suitable for areas that are too dangerous or impossible to reach by land

Make Money With A Drone – FAQs

What are the legal requirements to making money with a drone?

You will need a license in order to operate your drone for business purposes.

In Canada, all drones that weigh between 250 g and 25 kg must be registered with Transport Canada.

Pilots must mark their drones with their registration number before they fly.

All pilots of drones that weigh between 250 g and 25 kg must get a drone pilot certificate.

You’ll also want a standing SFOC permit allowing nighttime, daytime and controlled airspace operation before you do any work.

In the USA, drones over 250 grams need to be registered and you mark all drones with your registration number before you fly them. 

How To Start A Drone Business?

To fly a drone, you will need to be a certified UAV ground school graduate and have completed safety courses.

The best thing to do is take an online drone course that will teach you everything you need including:

  • airspace classification and structure
  • weather and notice to airmen (NOTAM) reporting services
  • aeronautical charts and Flight Supplement
  • Aviation Regulations pertinent to your country
  • Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
  • Emergency procedures
  • Crew resource management
  • Radio communication procedures
  • Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
  • Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
  • Airport operations
  • Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures
  • Operation at night

Here are some resources for finding drone courses near you:

Transport Canada – Drone School Finder

In the USA – You will need am FAA Certification part 107 – find out more here.

The other thing you will need is personal property and liability insurance with a UAV specific policy to cover you for any possible incidents or issues when conducting business.

How much money can I make flying drones?

The industry is a fast growing one, and it’s estimated that by 2023 there will be 2 million jobs created in the drone industry.

The average salary for a drone pilot is $95,000.

The drone services industry is projected to grow to over $60 billion by 2025, and there are a lot of different niches within it with different price points.

There are many ways to make money in the drone services industry, but it all depends on what you charge per job and how many jobs you do.

It’s important to know what customers are willing to pay for your drone service before starting a business.

How much does it cost to start a drone business?

In terms of the initial investment, a drone business can start off small.

However, it is important to remember that the initial cost of a drone business is only a fraction of the cost of the drones themselves.

The startup costs of a drone business are relatively low compared to a lot of industries.

Most of the costs come from your equipment and your license.

Depending on what sort of drone business you are starting, your drone can be extremely expensive.

You can recoup these costs quickly with just a few jobs, but the initial cost can be high.

How profitable is a drone business?

Once you are established, starting a drone business can be highly profitable and turn a hobby into a high-paying side hustle.

That being said, you will need to recoup the costs of your initial investments before you see a lot of income coming in.

What is the best drone to make money with?

Your choice of drone will likely depend on the kind of work you are hoping to do and your budget, here are some of the top picks:

DJI Mavic

A lot of people recommend the DJI drone for aerial photography as they are safe and easy to maintain in addition to being very reliable.

Quadair Drone

This drone is very popular because it has a really long battery life and is really easy to maintain.

Make Money With Drones – Final Thoughts

If you’re like most people, you love your drone.

And if you’re like most people, you’re looking for ways to make money with your new drone. So we’ve put together a list of some of the best ways to do just that.

From wedding photography to roof inspections, there are plenty of opportunities for drone pilots looking to make some extra cash.

What is your favorite ways to make money with your drone?

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make money with a drone