Possible salaries you should expect from companies hiring drone pilots
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You still like to point it out, but it hasn’t changed. I’m just jealous that you have more free time in the day that’s. All yeah, but I don’t have never mind. Let’s, not go down that rabbit. I also do another show guys it’s, going to be a good one.
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Today we ‘ Ve got an interesting, interesting podcast. To talk to you about today, yeah it’s, an interesting podcast. I think it’s, something that a lot of people would be interested in, but it’s also something that is developing as we speak in terms of the answer and even what we answer today could probably change in a month just Kind of depends on what happens with the industry so interesting question and thank you for sending it in and guys.
If you have a question, go to ask Jerome you calm and I’ll, be afraid to have a little fun with your voice. Maybe an accent I’ve heard from somebody actually out in California who we thought was a real accent and he said no.
I was just messing around, so it was pretty good that’s, awesome. What does accent yeah? That’s, fun anyways! Let’s. Listen the question! I pollen Rob. My name is Kris, calling from the Greater Washington DC area.
I’m. Completing my master’s in on men systems of Emory Riddle, Aeronautical University. I currently make six figures in the current job working in the aviation industry. I’ve, been doing it for almost ten years.
Once I complete the master’s, I’m looking into transitioning and working with unmeant systems. My question is for a pilot flying commercial unmanned aircraft systems for precision, hot sky scopes, measure sky catch zipline.
What is a realistic expectation for a full-time salary with these companies in the past, precisionhawk has advertised jobs for pilots at around 30 to $ 35,000 a year. I feel this is unreasonable, especially when I am a college graduate.
I am completing a master’s degree and I know how to fly small unmanned systems, not to mention my years of experience in the aviation industry. Can you please give me and others that are wanting to change careers, a good idea of what we can expect salary wise from these companies? It seems precisionhawk does not have a problem paying their engineers, seventy-five thousand dollars a year.
What is the price range? We can negotiate regardless if we are in Miami DC Des Moines or Denver is $ 75,000 a year reasonable. Thank you, hmm, 30, to $ 35,000. Would you do that Paul hell? No, so you’re, going to be given a value based on your experience, based off of what you can provide.
If you’re, just a drone pilot, you’re, not very valuable. I’m sorry, but you’re. Not corporate America is realizing that right now, in fact, I mean by just a drone pilot. If you’re, just a drone pad, like all you know, is how to fly a drone.
You don’t know how to work on them. You don’t know how to diagnose problems. You don’t know how to fly in difficult conditions, because there are very few perfect days in a year. Let’s be honest! So if you are able to fly, you’re able to fix sensing, you know the system really.
Well, you’re able to you, know, troubleshoot the drone in the field you’re able to still get the same thing with a backup drone, because you know how to do it. I’m. You know a little bit about systems engineering, so if you got a broken esc, you know how to replace it.
I mean that’s, all that you know these groups, so these drone fixing groups do that being said, if you cannot provide a high end value, you probably not gonna get a high end price, and here’s. The example right Amazon was hiring for Amazon Prime air about two years ago and I got a job offer.
It was a hundred and twelve thousand in Palo Alto, California. I was like 22,000 and Albuquerque New Mexico. Exactly it’s, yeah, it’s, nothing um and I actually declined. For that reason. We talked about this um because the costs were just so astronomical to live there, but guys you got to be real with yourself.
You know, as a business, you’re, going to make more money anyway. If you want to be a drone pilot and you want to be out in nature – and you want to live the drone life, you really want a job. I mean.
Do you really want a job that I struggle with that myself up for obvious reasons, yeah, I know you do, but I think there is a place for those folks that that’s kind of more the life that they’re. Looking for it’s, for example, we’ve got the the labs here and a lot of Engineers work out there and they go and they do their thing every day and that’s.
What they choose to do, and it might not feel like it, would be something that we would enjoy, but a lot of people enjoy it. I think what Chris is dealing with, though, and some of this frustration is really it’s, pretty simple.
I think and that it comes down to supply and demand right. If you’ve got a ton of pilots all which you alluded to can fly reasonably well and essentially do the same things with the drone. Well, then, why would these companies pay a premium when, if you’re, not going to take the $ 35,000, the next guy will? So it really comes down to a pretty simple equation of how many pilots are out there.
That can do the job that they need done yeah. Yes, I would also say to you know the reason that I have there’s, a couple things. I want to say the reason that I have this mentality of why you would want a job exting, a lot of Engineers, specifically those at Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs, that have that mentality that I just wan na do a job.
I just want to focus on being really good at this one thing, and you know I ‘ Ll, have the security that the business will always be. There always get a paycheck benefits, blah blah, but then 20 years later they realize they’re, still, not happy yeah.
Maybe you know, and that’s. Why I’m, like you know, I don ‘ T really want a job, but let me give you the example of Andrew Baker, who I think is a prime example of how someone like our question-asker could take his knowledge and then augment that to a new.
As I was saying, marketing a new. What do they call it? Ilk are a new vertical. I hate the marketing term vertical Pisces, so it’s, a new vertical for that person. So it’s slightly different, but it’s, a new Avenue it’s, refreshing it’s.
It’s, uh rejuvenating right, so Andrew Baker and I actually went to school together back in 2012 and he at the time was working for Honeywell. Now he’s. He’s, your age, so a little bit older than I am um very nice with you carry on not very old, and you know he was in software engineering for Honeywell and got all his UAS stuff has really been diving down deep into UAS And now he’s on the Honeywell UAS team and I’m, pretty sure he’s.
Making over six figures I mean I’m – pretty sure he was already, but he augmented his in his business or his position at Honeywell to say, hey. I really like this thing and I really want to move into it and I think any employer with the right mind realizes that someone with a passion is probably going to get more done than someone who isn’t passionate about the same job.
So for him it was an easy transition. He still had the benefits. He still had the. What’s? The word I’m. Looking for here, he still had the stability. Alright, if you was looking for in that kind of a work-life base, exactly yeah – and you know he’s unbelievably smart – I mean Andrew is so so so so so so so smart.
In fact. Actually I was trying I’m. Doing a vlog episode coming up on gridlock and what it is and how it can help people, and I actually I was like you – know what I really need to figure out the algorithm for how to measure the distance on the ground.
And what’s being covered by the camera from the drone and it’s? This whole equation on what is the field of view of the camera? How big is the camera sensor? What is the altitude? What is the AGL of the drone versus the ground and then what is the tangent of the angle that the camera gimbal is pointed at? It’s, a pretty big equation, but I mean like within 30 seconds she was like here like.
This is how you do it, but how you figure it out and I was like you’re, the man. Thank you. Yes, we all need one of those in our back pocket. You know what I read an article a couple years ago and I wouldn’t really classify Andrew as a nerd.
I think he’s much more than than a nerd and people call me nerdy and call me nerdy. I don’t care, nerd, all nerd it up. I love technology. I radical. I love smart things, but I read an article in. I think it was like fast money that every millennial should have a friend who’s, a nerd, because what you learn from those people, and just also the the social adeptness that you give to them, is really beneficial.
Those annoyin win, it’s yeah, and it was like this huge psychological piece on why you should be friends and nerds, and I’m like maybe. This is why I’m friends. Most of my friends nowadays are nerds, like I think of Cameron, I think of Jason, I think of Andrew at they give like all these different people, even Chad, right you know, most people are like who is this Chad Hudson character that you spend so much time With he is a nerd in the financial aspect, but you would never guess it in real life.
Yeah nerds are cool, can be a cool nerd for sure totally, but going back to the initial – and this is all about value, what value do you provide? And you know I said: corporate America is realizing this this issue right now you can pay a really cheap amount and you’re, going to get a some fpv pilot who just wants to move into the real world, and and sometimes they don’t even need a license.
You know it’s. It’s, one of those careers. It’s, one of those industries where it’s. It’s, fun and a lot of people want to be a part of it. Think of I don’t, know. Think of working. We’ve got a triple-a, baseball team here, and they are very isotopes area.
They offer jobs, and so a ton of people show up because it’s fun to work for the isotopes right, so they probably don’t have to pay a lot of money to these people that will come work there. So again it’s, just a matter of, and so how do you get over that and how do you get the 75 and the hundred thousand dollar level? You bring the kind of value that Paul is talking about and it might take getting in at $ 35,000 level and then showing them what you’re, capable of and moving up and getting more money that way.
But you have to be wary. Microfiber aspect of it that’s, exactly what I had to do so right on yeah going back to it. The corporate America, though, is realizing that if they pay little money, they’re.
Creating these drone teams that constantly need to hire out other work and these big corporations I mean couple of them have come to me and said Paul. We want you to consult like we see drone you blah blah blah in fact ill care, and I had a consulting meeting last week on the way to the IMS rancher on the way back from the Imus ranch, and that mean people are just like.
We need your help like in Iraq. What I can’t stop talking. I am saturated like I am not taking on any more work. I’m done that’s. It and it really comes down to value – and you know to add on to this value these.
These corporations want a team that’s in-house. I can handle everything from maintenance to systems to troubleshooting to flying in difficult conditions. If you can offer that and more so, you can communicate that you’re, going to have a higher value and you don’t have to settle for these lower price points, because now you know what corporations are dealing with, but something That Ryan, Francis one of our drone new community members, wrote in our Facebook community recently is you know there is a huge need for if you are doing drone videos as a part of social media administration – and you know even Vick called me and said you know You really like talked to Ryan.
This is a good idea about. I’m sitting there. Thinking to myself, like everything outside of drone. You right now stemmed from doing just that social media with someone even how I went to drone school was because I was doing social media for someone Dave, yeah, hey.
I want an aerial photo Bing me Ming, Ming like and then that’s, how it all started where it all started, and Here I am now and I went to school – you know with Andrew and have done further programs from that.
But my point is: if you can offer a package where you can go to a company and they’re, hiring a marketing job and it’s, a digital marketing coordinator and you’re. Like look, you’re, paying seventy eight thousand dollars, I think of like Karissa, who I hired and she resigned before.
I got a chance to fire her, which is probably for the best, but she works at an agency makes very little and it’s like well. If you could fly a drone or knew how to operate a camera properly, wouldn’t.
You be able to provide more value, this isn’t, something that I would just do. I would make an example of how I can increase the value for said company for and then be like. I’m. Never doing that again.
Unless you increase the price that you’re, paying me period right and if you cannot have the backbone to ask that, then you don’t deserve more money. I’m. Sorry you don’t unless you’re willing to stand up for yourself and say: hey look! This is the value that I present when this is the mentality going back to.
You have to believe in yourself as a drone pilot. Get more money, let’s, get right back to that yeah. So when you’re talking this guy, who you know, I’ve, given you examples of other people in the aviation industry who kind of augmented what they did.
We’ve talked about what value you can create in multiple different aspects, from maintenance to systems to consulting to. Why not adding a marketing element think about this. If you’re trying to create your own videos for people, they’re, making these videos.
Why? Because they want to get out to other people. So if you can guarantee an audience to said video, you have a higher value. You’ll, make more money. It’s, really that simple, yeah, yeah and so again with these companies that you mentioned Chris, then you know you can you need to understand what their purpose is, what their goal is and then figure out a way that you’re, Going to bring value in addition to the person that they’re looking for and then you can start to negotiate look.
I can do this for you, which is in addition to what you’re, asking to be done, and is it always going to work? No, but you need to go down that road and maybe they’re, not the place for you. You move on to the next one mm-hmm, but there’s a place out there for you, where you can make what you want to make it just might take some time it might be.
Patient patience is profit by the way someone called me. I don’t know how they got my cell in arm and I’m, not to change that to you. But someone called me and said my son listened to your podcast about patients is profit and it was like something clicked in him and like everything I’ve ever told him about being patient as a mom just started to work.
It was like this light bulb turned on it’s like hey it’s all about how it’s, all of it’s, not it’s. You know that might look that book exactly that we were supposed to read for the consultant, which I read and talks about.
Why is first, you always start with why and then you talk about how and then you talked about what well, just as important is. Why is is so is how and he mentions that that a lot of people just read the first part of his book and think.
Oh, it’s all about why and that’s. Why Apple’s successful, but just as equally important is how? Because, if you say that you’re going to do a lot of stuff and you never follow up on it. And if you hire a bunch of consultants.
But you never do what they tell you to do. What’s? The point in spending the money? Well, yeah! You could have the best idea in the world, but if you don’t execute it, it doesn’t matter. It’s; it exists in a vacuum.
If you don’t execute so absolutely exactly exactly, and this is, I think, a big message and something that we talk about here on drone, you all the time that you could be listening to this show you could be listening in other podcasts.
You could be learning how to run a better business. You can watching Rob’s. I was going to call you Bob for a second. You could watch Roth’s. This please class um, you know, but unless you act on it, what good is well, I think, the the percentages of people that act on things they learn and it’s.
One of the reasons we’re getting a little off base here, but it’s, interesting it’s. One of the reasons that people who have really great knowledge will share the knowledge that they have and create a business out of that, even though they’re still doing what they’re teaching people to do, because they know that 95 % of the people that they teach are not going to do it anyways yeah right, so the risk to them loves this whole group of people coming and taking their business is actually really really small, because most people will not go.
Do it so be the ones that do yep? I mean you be if there’s, a daughter what you can accomplish as a Dewar’s economy, I mean, like, I actually think back when I first came to New Mexico, and I was like oh no.
What did I get myself in? No really that’s. What I thought and I really hated the place – I did not like it at all very negative, very full of poverty, like you know it’s, not an inclusive economy, and then I started to shift my mindset and I was like you know what, With this move this mass minimalism, this mass nefarious negative mindset, it means there’s huge opportunity.
It means if a majority of people easier to stand out exactly, I believe if a majority of people are unwilling to pursue their greens or whatever reason it doesn’t matter, the reason they’re, just not doing it.
That means you have a massive opportunity and it just goes back to the point that it’s, all mentality mentality, first, taking action. Second, on that bombshell, that’s, going to do it for us today my name is Paul.
My name is Rob. This is ask drone. You [ Music, ],