While some people will be content flying their drones to capture unique aerial images, others will want to take this hobby to the next level and turn it into a job. One of the fastest growing career areas you may be interested in is becoming a drone surveyor.

How to Become a Drone Surveyor?  A good place to start is by reading the job description and requirements for drone surveyors. You’ll find that most companies require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or geology, as well as experience with surveying equipment (such as GPS) and flying drones.

Surveying has always been an important part of construction, but drones have taken the process to the next level by making it faster and more accurate than ever. This blog post goes through what drone surveying is, what skillset you need and the best resources to learn more about this exciting career.

What Is A Drone Surveyor?

What Is A Drone Surveyor?

A drone surveyor is someone who uses drones to take aerial photographs or videos, and then uses those images to determine the shape and size of an area. Drones are often used in agricultural surveys, land surveys, environmental surveys and more.

A drone surveyor is a person who uses a drone to take measurements and create maps. The most common type of drone used for this kind of work is a quadcopter, but other types of drones can be used as well. 

Drones are used for surveying because they can fly in areas that would be too dangerous for humans, such as near power lines or over water. They are also useful because they can capture images at higher resolution than human eyes can see.

A drone surveyor’s job is to fly their drone over the area they want to map and take high-resolution photos from above. The photos are then stitched together using photogrammetry software to create a 3D map. 

This type of map can be used for many different purposes, including helping farmers estimate crop yields and providing accurate data for conservation efforts.

How To Become A Drone Surveyor (step By Step Instructions)

How To Become A Drone Surveyor (step By Step Instructions)

The first step to becoming a drone surveyor is getting your hands on the right equipment. You’ll need a camera-equipped drone with a GPS system and the ability to carry a wide-angle lens. You’ll need some formal training in order for employers to trust you with their projects. 

Drones have revolutionized the surveying industry. They offer a new way to collect data that is both faster and more cost-effective than traditional methods. The following steps will walk you through the steps you need to take in order to become a drone surveyor.

Step 1: Obtain A Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate

To become a drone surveyor, you’ll need to obtain your FAA Remote Pilot Certificate. To do this, you’ll need to pass the Remote Pilot Airman Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved testing center. 

Once you pass the test, you’ll be issued a temporary certificate and will then have 60 days to complete your training for certification. You can learn more about obtaining your certificate here.

Step 2: Utilize The Right Software

The software you need to become a drone surveyor depends on which type of survey you are going to perform. If you are going to perform an aerial survey, then you will need a drone that is equipped with high-quality cameras. 

You will also need software that allows you to control the drone as well as process images taken by its camera.

If you are going to perform a ground survey, then you will need different types of software. For example, if you want to collect data about land use and land cover using drones, then you should utilize LiDAR software like DroneDeploy. 

LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) uses lasers to take measurements of objects on Earth’s surface from above and produce 3D maps of them in real time.

Some programs allow you to see real-time data on your screen while you’re flying your drone over an area. This allows you to get an idea of what the data will look like when you import it into your computer and view it there. 

This can help you make sure that the data is accurate before importing it into another program for editing purposes.

Step 3: Use The Right Hardware

If you want to become a drone surveyor, you need to make sure that you have the best equipment for the job. This means having a drone with a camera and a GPS system. You also need a laptop and software that will help you collect data from your drones and analyze it.

The first step is to decide which drone you want to use. There are many different kinds of drones available on the market today, including ones that are specifically made for surveying land and others that are designed specifically for aerial photography. 

Each kind has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose one that matches your needs before buying anything else.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right hardware for surveying:

  • Choose a drone that’s made for surveying.
  • Buy a drone with an excellent camera. A good camera will let you take high-quality photos and videos while also helping to ensure that your drone won’t crash into anything (like power lines) while flying over land.

Step 4: Learn How To Capture The Best Data

After completing the previous steps, you should have a solid understanding of what drone surveying is and how it can benefit your business. You need to know: how to capture the best data possible with your drone.

Capturing good data means being able to take advantage of all the benefits that drone surveying offers without any drawbacks or difficult situations. It will tell you everything you need to know about this topic so that you can be sure that every single flight goes smoothly and produces results that you’re proud of.

Step 5: Get Familiar With Aerial Mapping Terms

Before you take the leap and start your drone surveying business, it’s important that you get familiar with the terms used in aerial mapping. If you’re not familiar with them, it may seem like a foreign language. You’ll need to learn these terms so that you can communicate effectively and efficiently with your clients.

Here are some of the most common mapping terms:

  • Aerial orthophoto: An image created by combining numerous photographs taken from an airplane or helicopter at different angles. These images are often used for creating maps, such as for cities or large tracts of land. 
  • Georeferencing: The process of associating geographic coordinates with each pixel in an image file so that each pixel can be referenced back to its original position on earth’s surface and displayed accurately on any map projection system. 
  • Geospatial data: Information about places on earth (such as latitude/longitude coordinates), which can be displayed visually on a computer screen or printed out on paper (as for a map).

Step 6: Choose The Right Flight Plan For Data Collection

Once you have gathered all of the necessary information, it’s time to choose a flight plan. A flight plan is a set of instructions that tell your drone where to go, how high to fly, and what routes to take. It is best if you can create this on your own so that you can make sure it works correctly before sending it off into the world. 

The important thing to remember here is that there are two commonly adopted flight plans:

  • Fixed-wing flights: These are used when you want the drone to fly in a straight line, without any turns. This is useful for collecting data about things like property lines and roadways, which need to be measured in order to be mapped out properly.
  • Rotary flights: These are used when you want your drone to make turns while flying so it can get more detailed information about an area or object. One example would be if you were measuring trees or wildlife on a farm; they wouldn’t be able to fit into a fixed-wing flight plan, but they could easily fit into one that requires rotary flights.

Step 7: Build Your Portfolio

Once you’ve developed a good set of skills and have seen some projects through to completion, it’s time to start building your portfolio. You can do this in several ways, by creating a website or blog dedicated to drone surveying. 

By contributing to online forums and communities, and by joining professional organizations such as the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have many projects under your belt yet. Remember that there are lots of people who are just starting out in this field, so don’t feel like you need to have a lot of experience before you can get started. You just need to have a passion for what you’re doing.

Different Ways To Capture Data Using Drones

Different Ways To Capture Data Using Drones

Drones can be used to capture data in a variety of ways, including laser scanning, photogrammetry, multispectral imaging and photography. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences between these techniques before deciding which one is best for your project.

Learning how to capture the best data is a huge part of becoming a drone surveyor. There are four main ways that you can capture data with your drone:

  • Laser Scanning: This method uses an infrared laser to scan the area, which generates a 3D model of the location that you can use for analysis. The accuracy of this method depends on the quality of your scanner and how often it’s calibrated.
  • Photogrammetry: This method uses multiple photos taken from multiple angles to generate a 3D model of the location that you can use for analysis. It’s considered less accurate than laser scanning but more cost effective.
  • Multispectral Imaging: This method uses different wavelengths of light to capture different types of information about an area’s topography, vegetation, or water content, which can help you determine whether or not an area is suitable for certain purposes (e.g., farming).
  • Photography: This method uses a camera mounted on your drone to photograph an area from above and then compares those photos against each other in order to create 3D models that provide more detail than those created by photogrammetry alone


You’ll want to start learning how to fly a drone by practicing with an inexpensive model in your backyard. You also need to brush up your mapping skills so that you can use GPS and other mapping tools when it comes time to fly the drone.

To sum up, the process of getting your drone surveying license is relatively straightforward, but it definitely won’t be a linear process. 

It’s best to have a basic understanding of flight rules before you start the process, and to keep up with taking the safety courses along the way. However, if you’re serious about getting your license and want to make a career out of drone surveying, these steps should get you there.

Frequently Asked Questions (how To Become A Drone Surveyor)

How Do I Get Started In Drone Surveying?

The best way to get started in drone surveying is simply to get a drone. Once you have a drone, you can use it to do all kinds of things. You can use it to survey land, make maps, or even just take photos.

You’ll probably have to learn how to program an autopilot system, which can be tricky at first. But once you’ve got that down, there are plenty of tutorials online to help you learn how to use drones for mapping purposes.

What Qualifications Would You Need To Be Hired As A Drone Pilot?

In order to be hired as a drone pilot, you would need to have a background in aviation. You should have knowledge of the regulations and laws associated with drone flights. You should also have some experience flying drones, so that you can understand what it takes to operate them.

To become a drone pilot, you would also need to be able to pass the FAA certification test. This would involve passing a written exam, as well as a practical test that involves you flying a drone through a series of maneuvers and keeping it in the air for a set period of time. 

Can You Make A Living As A Drone Pilot?

Yes, you can make a living as a drone pilot. There are plenty of jobs available for those who want to fly drones professionally, and it’s a great industry to get into if you’re interested in technology and want to be part of the growing industry of drones.

Drone pilots are often self-employed, so they can set their own hours and work from home. Most drone pilots work for companies that provide services like aerial photography, surveying, or mapping.

A drone pilot’s salary depends on the type of work they are doing and how experienced they are at flying drones.

Are Drone Jobs In Demand?

Yes, drones are in demand. Drones are used in a variety of industries, from agriculture to photography to police work. These devices can be used for a wide range of purposes, and there is no shortage of jobs for people who know how to use them.

As long as the FAA continues to make it difficult for individuals to get into the drone business, many companies are having trouble finding enough qualified pilots to meet their needs.

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