Jobs, Careers in Drone- How much do drone pilots make in Singapore?

The Chinese New Year celebration in Feb 2024 at MBS with a massive Dragon drone show has caught the imagination of many Singaporeans on how advanced drones are now. Do you know that there are increasing advances in job and career opportunities in Singapore?

Learn Drones pilot like MBS Dragon Drone Show courses
Learn Drones pilot like MBS Dragon Drone Show courses

Learning how to fly drones can significantly enhance the skillset of workers in Singapore, opening up various career opportunities in the rapidly growing field of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Here’s how you can improve your skillsets:

  1. Technical Skills Development: Flying drones requires mastering technical skills such as piloting, navigation, and understanding the mechanics of UAVs. Learning these skills can enhance problem-solving abilities and attention to detail.
  2. Adaptability: Operating drones often involves adapting to different environments and situations, which can improve adaptability and quick decision-making skills.
  3. Data Analysis: Many drones are equipped with sensors and cameras, enabling them to collect vast amounts of data. Learning how to analyze this data can lead to insights in various industries such as agriculture, construction, and surveying.
  4. Innovation and Creativity: As drone technology continues to evolve, there is a constant need for innovation and creativity in utilizing drones for different purposes. Learning how to fly drones can nurture these qualities.
  5. Entrepreneurial Opportunities: With the increasing demand for drone services, there are ample entrepreneurial opportunities. Individuals can start their drone service businesses, offering aerial photography, mapping, inspection, and other specialized services.
  6. Career Opportunities: Several career paths are available in the drone industry, including:
    • Drone Pilot: Piloting drones for various purposes such as aerial photography, videography, surveying, and inspections.
    • Drone Technician: Maintaining and repairing drones, ensuring they operate efficiently and safely.
    • Data Analyst: Analyzing data collected by drones for insights and decision-making in industries like agriculture, construction, environmental monitoring, and disaster management.
    • Drone Software Developer: Developing software for drone control, data analysis, and mission planning.
    • Regulatory Compliance Specialist: Ensuring compliance with drone regulations and obtaining necessary licenses and permits.
    • Educator/Trainer: Teaching others how to fly drones safely and effectively, or providing specialized training in drone applications.

How do I learn how to fly drones and be a drone pilot or operator?

To acquire relevant skills in drones, individuals can consider the following steps:

  1. Enroll in Training Programs: Various drone training programs and courses are available both online and offline, offering comprehensive training in prep-UAPL drone operations subsidised by SkillsFuture Credits, regulations, and applications.
  2. Obtain Certification: Depending on the intended use of drones, obtaining relevant certifications such as the Unmanned Aerial Pilot License (UAPL) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) may be necessary.
  3. Gain Practical Experience: Practice flying drones in different environments and conditions to develop proficiency and confidence in piloting skills.
  4. Specialize: Identify specific industries or applications of interest and acquire specialized knowledge and skills relevant to those areas, such as agricultural mapping or infrastructure inspection.
  5. Stay Updated: The drone industry is rapidly evolving, so it’s essential to stay updated on the latest technologies, regulations, and best practices through continuous learning and networking within the industry.

By investing in learning how to fly drones and acquiring relevant skills, you can position yourself for exciting career opportunities and contribute to the growing drone industry.

If the course fee is a concern, look for upgrading drone courses that are subsidised by Skillsfuture credits such as these. The course fees can be subsidised by 70% from the government, and the remainder can be paid by your Skillsfuture Credits (Most of us have have been credited $1500 + $4000 by May 2024)

Jobs or Careers in Drones in Singapore

The role of a drone pilot is diverse and evolving, offering various career opportunities both now and in the future. Here’s a more specific breakdown of the jobs and careers available for drone pilots:

  1. Aerial Photography and Videography: Drone pilots can specialize in capturing aerial images and videos for industries such as real estate, tourism, advertising, filmmaking, and event coverage.
  2. Mapping and Surveying: Drone pilots can work in mapping and surveying fields, collecting high-resolution imagery and data for urban planning, land development, construction site monitoring, and environmental assessment.
  3. Infrastructure Inspection: Drone pilots can conduct inspections of infrastructure such as bridges, buildings, power lines, and pipelines, providing detailed visual assessments without the need for costly and risky manual inspections.
  4. Agricultural Monitoring: Drone pilots can assist farmers in monitoring crop health, assessing soil conditions, and optimizing irrigation and pesticide usage through aerial imaging and data analysis. The agricultural landscape in Singapore may be small, but hi-tech drone monitoring will be needed to assess trees, wildlife health, etc in nature or park areas.
  5. Search and Rescue Operations: Drone pilots can support search and rescue teams by providing aerial reconnaissance in disaster areas, helping locate missing persons, or assessing the extent of damage in hard-to-reach areas.
  6. Emergency Response: Drone pilots can assist emergency response teams by providing real-time aerial footage during natural disasters, accidents, or other emergencies to aid in decision-making and coordination efforts.
  7. Security and Surveillance: Drone pilots can work in security and surveillance, monitoring large areas for unauthorized activity, conducting perimeter patrols, and providing aerial support during events or incidents.
  8. Delivery Services: With the rise of drone delivery services, drone pilots may have opportunities to work for companies involved in the last-mile delivery of packages, food, or medical supplies. E-commerce via Shopee or Lazada is huge in Singapore and will continue to shine with possibly drone delivery in the future.
  9. Media and Entertainment: Drone pilots can find opportunities in the media and entertainment industry, capturing dynamic aerial footage for movies, TV shows, documentaries, and live events.
  10. Training and Education: Experienced drone pilots can transition into roles as trainers or educators, teaching others how to fly drones safely and effectively, or providing specialized training in specific applications or industries.

In the future, as drone technology continues to advance and regulations evolve, new opportunities for drone pilots may emerge, such as:

  • Urban Air Mobility: Piloting autonomous passenger drones or air taxis for urban transportation.
  • Environmental Monitoring: Using drones for wildlife conservation, habitat monitoring, and pollution detection.
  • Telecommunication Infrastructure: Inspecting and maintaining telecommunication towers and equipment using drones.
  • Medical and Healthcare: Transporting medical supplies, and organs, or conducting aerial medical missions in remote areas or bypassing heavy traffic.
  • Disaster Response and Recovery: Deploying drones equipped with advanced sensors for rapid damage assessment and search and rescue operations in disaster-stricken areas.

Overall, the role of a drone pilot offers a diverse range of career opportunities with the potential for growth and specialization as the drone industry continues to expand and innovate.

How much do drone pilots make in Singapore? What are the highest-paying drone jobs?

The salary of a drone pilot in Singapore can vary depending on factors such as experience, qualifications, industry, and employer. Generally, drone pilots in Singapore can expect to earn an average salary ranging from SGD $40,000 to SGD $100,000 per year. However, highly experienced and specialized drone pilots may earn significantly higher salaries, especially in sectors like marine shipyards or the oil and gas sector.

The highest-paying drone jobs in Singapore typically include positions that require advanced skills, certifications, and expertise in specialized applications. Some of these high-paying drone jobs may include:

  1. Industrial Inspection Specialist: Drone pilots who specialize in conducting inspections of critical infrastructure such as oil rigs, power plants, and bridges can command high salaries due to the technical expertise and risk management involved in these operations.
  2. Aerial Surveying and Mapping Expert: Drone pilots with advanced skills in aerial surveying, photogrammetry, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) can earn top salaries by providing accurate and detailed mapping data for urban planning, land development, and environmental assessment projects.
  3. Search and Rescue Drone Operator: Drone pilots involved in search and rescue operations, particularly those working with government agencies or emergency response organizations, may earn high salaries due to the critical nature of their work and the specialized training required for aerial reconnaissance in challenging environments.
  4. Remote Sensing Specialist: Drone pilots who specialize in remote sensing applications such as agricultural monitoring, environmental monitoring, and natural resource management can earn competitive salaries by providing valuable insights and data analysis services to industries and government agencies.
  5. Drone Software Developer or Engineer: Professionals who develop and engineer drone software, including flight control systems, data processing algorithms, and autonomous navigation capabilities, can command high salaries due to the technical complexity and innovation involved in advancing drone technology.
  6. Drone Instructor or Trainer: Experienced drone pilots who transition into roles as instructors or trainers, particularly those offering specialized training in advanced drone operations such as UAPL (unmanned aerial pilot license). Those flying drones for safety protocols, and industry-specific applications, can earn high salaries by sharing their expertise with aspiring drone pilots and industry professionals.
  7. Aerial photographer or videographer. Singaporeans getting married love getting aerial shots of your wedding photos. There is also a growing trend of family photos shot in outdoor with drone overview shoots. A photographer with drone skillsets would outshine most other photographers in this field.

It’s important to note that salaries for drone pilots and related positions can vary based on market demand, industry trends, and individual qualifications.

Additionally, as the drone industry continues to evolve and new applications emerge, the demand for skilled professionals in this field is expected to grow, potentially leading to increased opportunities and higher salaries for experienced drone pilots.

PS: You can search for drone courses that are subsidised by Skillsfuture credits such as these. These course are skillsfuture accredited and the course fees can be subsidised by 70% from the government, and the remainder can be paid by your Skillsfuture Credits. We should maximise our career and job earning potential by going for upgrades and learning new skillsets.

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