how to make money with a drone

How to make money with a drone? 4 Ideas to turn a hobby into income.

There are multiple ways one can make money with a drone. Making money is difficult, but anyone can make money out of their passion with little patience and effort.

Flying drones is a hobby for many, and recreational drone pilots can figure out the most suitable way to turn this hobby into their income source.

This post explains various ways how to make money with a drone.

As the uses of drones are rising and various industries are yet to figure out ways of using drones to ease industrial tasks, you can say the future for drone pilots is bright.

So what is stopping a recreational pilot from making money?

To make money using drones, a hobbyist or a recreational drone pilot must get their drone pilot’s license.

How to get a drone pilot’s license?

A Drone pilot’s license, in reality, is a certification for drone pilots that allow them to make money using their drones.

Without a drone pilot’s license, it is illegal for one to make money. So it is a must to have a drone pilot license.

You have to take the knowledge test and then apply for your license.

A Drone pilot license is also called the Remote pilot airman certificate. Once FAA issues a remote pilot airman certificate y, you can now fly your drone for commercial uses.

Getting a drone pilot license will not cost you more than 150 USD in the United States.

RELATED: How to get a drone pilot’s license?

How much do you have to invest before making a decent amount?

Commonly hobbyist uses their drone for photography and videography. So it is understandable that you will use your photographs and videos to make money.

Thus it would help if you had a drone that produces exceptional quality aerial photographs and videos.

Depending on the industry you want to work for, you may need a different kind of drone, as well as several additional gears.

For example, if you work for inspection companies, you need a drone with a thermal camera.

Nevertheless, you will not have to spend more than 2000 USD for a drone that takes exceptional quality photographs.

You can buy a drone for under 1000 USD if you have a lesser budget. There are drones with exceptional quality pictures, and the price is below 1000 USD.

You will spend a few hundred dollars on additional gear. But for a beginner, I do not suggest buying equipment until you think it is essential.

People get caught up in buying and choosing stuff and not doing the work to make money.

Assuming you already know how much money you need, I recommend buying a drone to get a license and start taking beautiful photos.

Finally, now let’s get to the central part of the article.

How to make money with a drone? Is it possible to make money with a drone and such an investment?

Ways to make money with your drone:

I know two thousand dollars is not big money, but it may sound like a lot of investment for a hobbyist.

Trust me with some effort and patience. You will make more than that in a couple of months.

Did anyone ever tell you making money is secure?

It is easy if you put effort and do it consistently. As many industries need aerial footage to determine and ease several tasks, you can say that you will see a return on your investment very quickly.

Drones can perform many tasks efficiently; hence new industries are looking for ways to use drones to make complicated jobs more straightforward.

And the flying drone is your hobby, after all. So 2000 USD should not sound like a lot.

But when you are starting, you have to focus on industries or ways to make money that is already existent. So what enterprises already need professional drone pilots?

Real Estate.

Buying and selling properties is an industry where most hobbyist drone pilot starts making money using their drone.

Real estate companies’ job is to present a house, mansion, or property in the best possible way. Regular pictures are not always distinguished using traditional cameras.

Real estate agencies are ready to hire professionals to get outstanding images of the property they can show their customers.

Aerial footage or pictures of a property is outstanding for marketing. It enables real estate companies to give their customers a better view of the property.

In the past real estate companies had to rent helicopters and pay a significant fee for that aerial footage.

Today, this expensive cost has become inexpensive due to the use of drones. Drone pilots have found opportunities in the real estate industry, and real estate companies have seen a cheap way of taking that extraordinary footage.

Thus a hobbyist drone pilot with a remote pilot certificate can take footage for real estate companies and receive compensation.

But before doing so, you have to practice and get better. You can take pictures of properties in your neighborhood and figure out which angle gives the best view of a property.

If you already have habits of flying a drone and taking amazing pictures, mastering the techniques for aerial footage for real estate companies will not take long.

Now that you have enough skills to take better pictures using your drones, you can contact real estate companies in your area and ask them if they require a drone pilot or not.

You can start by contacting someone from your friend list or any relative working in the real estate business.

Tell them you can take aerial footages of properties that will help boost their sales and do not expect a very high compensation. Take what they offer, but don’t take less than the industry standard.


Similar to real estate companies, wedding ceremonies prefer aerial footage in their collection.

Unlike real estate companies, you can not merely take aerial footage. For wedding ceremonies, pictures have various fields of view.

So unless you are a skilled photographer or working with one, you cannot possibly make money using drones.

I suggest contacting the wedding photographers in your area and asking them if they want a drone pilot. Tell them you can take aerial photographs and videos for the wedding photographer that will make the photographer’s work exceptional.

The photographer includes the drone footage in their package, which you can get paid for.


People are relying more and more on online content these days. Video streaming sites like Youtube are more popular than ever before. And the number of youtube users is still rising and will continue to grow.

Content creators make videos and publish them online to make money.

Videos online serve different purposes and have a good following. You can participate in the industry by creating an outstanding video using your drone.

Take your drone and create footage of your surroundings and publish it online. Wait for a while and see viewers coming in.

You will not make a fortune overnight. But with consistency, you can gain popularity.

In time you will see money rolling in from your online vlogging platform.

You can take online courses to become better at making footage and use video editing software to produce quality content.

Making wedding videography is a common way for pilots to make money flying drones.

Vloggers use their content and affiliate links to make good money, and as the viewers rise, you will see higher income.

Make money by licensing your footage.

If you are not vlogging, then you can use your drone images or footage to sell online.

There are numerous sites where online users look to buy drone footage or aerial images of outstanding locations.

They buy the aerial footage and images to use for their content.

So licensing your footage and photographs is an excellent way of monetizing. Pricing your aerial footage so that others can buy it if they think your drone footage is precisely the one they are looking for will help them and enable you to make money.

Like vlogging, you can improve in taking better images using your drone to attract more people to buy. You can take a course online.

If you can’t find how to price your footage, you can search online on websites, and the price is similar to your competition. Pricing it too little is not profitable, and you will lose buyers too high.


Making money with a drone is not so difficult. Any hobbyist can make money using their drone.

Flying drones is a hobby for many pilots, and using this passion for making money is more comfortable than before.

First, you need to follow some steps from someone already doing it.

RELATED: How to get a drone pilot’s license?

Following the steps I described in this article and working consistently to improve your skills can aid you in making money with your drone.

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