Flying a commercial drone is the way to go if you a have a drone pilot license.

But if you don’t have your drone license yet, and you want to become a professional drone pilot you can sign up for the course here . That is the first step to take if you want to make money flying drones.

If you run out of ideas, and you’re wondering how can people make money flying drones, here are several ideas on “how to make money flying drones.”

In this article the focus will be on drone inspection business. So let’s dig into it…

Flying a drone as a professional drone pilot is now a lucrative business as compared to the past. The business is appealing as there is an ever-increasing market for professional drone services and these services are getting diversified day by day. Drones are not anymore restricted to photography and photo services only. There are various options now for drone professionals as a career. Inspection services are one of these bets. Drone inspection services require more technical grasp and capital but they offer very lucrative opportunities.

How to start a drone inspection business and what type of projects a drone inspector should bank upon? This piece will shed the light on what you need to know to start a drone inspection company.


The drone inspection business is really broad in terms of services a drone owner can provide. It will be better to categorize them based on the industries where drone inspection services are borrowable. The most in-demand services are:


Usually, a company, a homeowner, a real estate agent, or a solar panel installer offers a roof inspection project. Also in the event of a natural disaster, homeowners or repair contractors may request a drone inspection so reconstruction work can only begin once the roof has been properly inspected.

A roof inspection is not something new. To take measurements of the roof, before drones, the repair team had to climb to the roof through ladders. This type of measurement and taking photos was a mind-numbing, treacherous, and resource-intensive job that required many people. The employees used to be always in the threat of falling from the height. Now, a professional drone inspector can take deep information about the surface of the roof without risking his life.


The industrial inspection involves large-scale equipment like container vessels and cooling towers. Inspecting such large industrial tools and operations was always a time and resource-consuming job where not only human lives were put at risk but also it was mandatory to shut down the operation of the industry while doing the inspection job. 

Drones made this job fast, easy, and safe. A drone can fly around huge industrial structures in no time, while they are running. A drone can provide a real-time video feed of the equipment and operation of the industry to the staff on the ground.


Construction and mining industries require drone services for inspection in planning, execution, and maintenance.  During the planning process, a drone can fly over the area and provide the best 3-D model of the topography. Drone inspection and survey is way faster than the traditional type of survey. During the construction, a drone is used to monitor the progress regularly. The project management team can examine the project by watching the photos and videos generated by the drone without even visiting the site. After the completion of the project, a drone inspection is made to gauge the quality of the work.


Another service a professional drone operator can provide is inspecting power lines for any damage. Traditionally inspecting power lines was an intimidating job for humans as there was a great risk of life involved. As power lines run for miles, it is very difficult to inspect them in detail without drone technology. Thermal faults are detected easily by drones having thermal cameras fitted in them. Thermal anomalies are the damaged sections.

These were some examples of services a drone professional can offer in the inspection domain. There are other various industries where drones are sought for their inspection services; the business is still expanding.


No surprise that starting a drone inspection business requires a fair amount of profit as in return it will create a handsome profit too. To start the business, you may not need all this equipment but having most of them will provide you greater opportunities in terms of the vastness of the pool of services you can provide.

 The most important equipment is:


The camera of your drone should have the ability to shoot videos of at least 4K and photos of 12 MP. Drones with these specs are available at very fair prices. Industrial inspections don’t need that high specs. They only need a camera with the ability of only object recognition and subject tracking features. If you are tasked with the monitoring of personnel and vehicles, then the automated tracking feature is also required.


Almost, in every industry and type of work, you need your drone to have automated flying capability enabled in it, and that capability is not possible without GPS guidance. The automated flight function enables you to fly your drone alongside a designated path and you do your other duties like searching for damaged parts of a power line.


Photogrammetry software is used for the creation of 3D models of inspected areas and surfaces. Photogrammetry is a technique where a huge number of photos of a structure are observed and stitched together to create its 3D model. This technique doesn’t require rocket science; you just need to have Photogrammetry software and you’re good to go.


Drones do have their camera fitted in them that is enough for carrying out the normal roof and industrial inspection. However, if you want to offer more complex and detail-requiring projects, then you need to have cameras with smart features and also some other equipment that can be fitted to your drone.

For close monitoring, you need a camera with a zoom lens, but for finding damaged spots in the power line thermal camera is needed.


As we know an electronic device can emit electromagnetic signals, these signals can create a problem for your drone if it has no electromagnetic shield.  This can mess with the communication and electronic systems of your drone and can make your drone out of your control.  So, if you want to fly your drone somewhere near a large industrial equipment or electrical appliances then an electromagnetic shield for your drone is a must-have device.


An infrared thermal camera is a fancy tool you may add to your drone inspection setup. The infrared thermal camera can detect energy that cannot be seen through the naked eye. This way the thermal anomalies can be detected which are signals of damaged parts. This technology is mostly used in power line inspections and industrial inspections.

If you get a fair camera setup you can offer your drone services to emergency and safety providing agencies too.


Of course, there are certain rules and regulations, everywhere in the world, required for flying a drone. For example, in the United States, you have to follow the rules put in place by The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly a drone. 

Each country has its way of regularizing the flights of drones where commonly some basic things are counted for. For example, there are different rules for flying a drone just for fun and flying for money; of course, flying for money got stricter rules.

To fly your drone without breaching the law, you should look for all the rules and regulations first.


The drone business industry is still very new. So there are no fixed standards of rates and prices for specific services. Usually, it is different from project to project and even got different standards in different countries.

As compared to other drone services, like film making and real estate photography, the drone inspection business is more specialized. Drone inspection has a small number of pilots too.
Considering these factors, a drone inspector can expect higher rates for the services he offers.

The rates also depend upon the technicality of the task and the risk you are taking.
In industrial inspection, for example, a beginner can charge for about $50 per hour, and if you can offer 3D modeling services, then you can charge up to $250 per hour.
In the construction and mining industry, where usually in-house projects are offered based on the length of the project, a drone provider can earn from fifty thousand dollars to 75000 dollars.
Inspection for power lines, industrial equipment, and cell towers, are jobs involving more technicalities, and thus, are paid higher than the other drone inspection jobs.


 It is fine to say that experience and specialization are the two things that will guaranty the growth in your earning potential as a drone pilot. Experience comes in time while specialization is the thing you must focus upon. Anchor on a special area from your beginning and that’s it. Being specialized in industrial inspection means higher income and lucrative positions.

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