How To Make Money With A Drone: 10 Ways You Need To Know

How To Make Money With A Drone: 10 Ways You Need To Know

There are several ways to profit from operating drones, but most people only use them for fun to shoot pictures or videos from great heights.

Do you want to learn how to use a drone to make money? You’ve come to the proper location if that’s the case.

How Much Money Can You Make With Your Drone?

I’m aware that bringing up a six-figure income has mesmerized you. Even while there are people using drones to make this kind of money, you still have a long way to go as a novice.

In addition to your level of experience, a lot of other factors affect how much money you can make with a drone. These consist of your equipment, technical expertise, target market, and price point.

For airborne photographs, a freelance drone pilot typically charges $75 to $200. However, you are free to set your own prices based on your work and the state of the local market.

A comprehensive video session can cost anywhere from $500 to even $1,000 if you sell or offer services using aerial videos.

By doing this, you may easily make between $200 and $3000 every week if you accomplish at least one or two projects of this nature.

Additionally, by offering top-notch editing services and working with high-end businesses, you may possibly earn around $4000 for a single assignment. This eventually results in an annual income of six figures. 

However, you must first learn how to use your drone in a professional capacity. Yes, using a drone for recreational purposes is one thing, but if you want to use it to make money, you’ll need to put some money and work into it at first.

What Drones Can You Use?

You need to have a drone that can take 12MP images and 1080p video to start. Even though a drone with 4K video and 20MP photos is recommended, these camera specifications will ensure that the customer is receiving high-quality content. Taking RAW images is also beneficial because it enables you to edit them after the fact.

A peak bit rate can be necessary for the movie, with a suggested bit rate of roughly 100Mbps. Additionally, it is much simpler to get footage that looks professional when your drone has excellent flight characteristics, such as object tracking.

Listed below is a listing of the drones we urge. Please be aware that drones such as the DJI Mavic Mini and the old generation of Mavics continue to be ideal for most drone applications, such as for a few video and photo work, however, they won’t offer you the highest quality. 

  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
  • DJI Mavic Air two
  • Autel Evo 2
  • Autel Evo 2 Pro 

Ten Ways to Make Money With a Drone

Real Estate Photos And Video

When selling real estate, standard photography has pretty limited applications. With a drone, you may highlight cathedral ceilings and large foyers in a structure, get sweeping outside views of it, or do a smooth video flyover of the entire thing. Listings featuring aerial images often sell 68 percent faster, according to statistics from the multiple listing service (MLS) real estate database. 

You may network with real estate agents looking to enhance their listings with stunning photos as a freelance drone operator. In order to edit your drone footage, you’ll also need a basic understanding of picture and video editing tools.

Hotel And Resort Ads

Standard photography frequently fails to give a hotel, resort, or casino’s setting or vistas justice. Aerial photography is frequently used by marketing teams in the hospitality sector to highlight assets. They must hire a drone operator like you to take the images if they don’t already have an in-house photographer. 

You’ll need a picture and video editing software, much like with real estate photography, to put your aerial footage together. To spread the word, you need also to set up a portfolio website and handle social media profiles. 

Wedding Photos And Video

Wedding drone photography is growing in popularity, and more and more often, aerial video requests are being made, according to photographers. At destination weddings, a drone can more effectively highlight the beauty of the setting in a single, seamless view than a videographer can. 

Either network with clients directly or get in touch with nearby wedding photography companies to see if you can collaborate with them. Think about obtaining leads from a freelance network to find newlyweds looking for aerial wedding photos.

Structural Or Building Inspection

An asset can be inspected with drones to determine what repairs are required in a safer and more economical manner. A drone, rather than a person, can, for instance, more easily check the interior of a sizable chimney or ascend to the top of a cell phone tower. 

A drone could be useful for inspections in a number of different sectors. These may include nuclear power reactors, building sites, and utility towers. 

Start by asking nearby home inspectors about opportunities in your community. To undertake overhead roof inspections, inspectors occasionally collaborate with independent drone pilots. Additionally, you can become licensed as a house inspector on your own, expanding your range of services to include drone inspections.

Selling Stock Photos Or Videos

The majority of the images you see online, including those on this page, are stock images. Stock photography is frequently purchased by businesses so they can use it in marketing, instructional, or other print or internet products. 

Numerous websites purchase stock images and films from independent photographers to fill this requirement. When an image or video is sold, most give the photographer a commission. Rates for exclusive and non-exclusive images often vary, but this can be a pleasant way to create passive cash.

Listed below are a few online stores where you could sell your drone footage or photos:

  • Alamy: Up to 50% commission
  • 500px: Up to 60% commission
  • SmugMug: Set your own prices
  • Stocksy: Up to 75% commission (exclusive photos only)
  • Twenty20: 50% commission plus challenge bonuses

Drone Deliveries

Many companies need to transport products promptly and effectively. In comparison to commercial vehicles, drones can deliver goods more quickly, more affordably, and cleaner. The Prime Air system, which Amazon has previously launched, allows customers to receive shipments under 5 pounds in just 30 minutes.

There may be prospects for freelance work with startups or organizations on services like Upwork, despite the fact that the majority of businesses utilize their own drones and employ pilots.


Follow your heart and use your drone to create art if you have a narrative to convey. It might not be a quick way to make additional money, but if you make something unique, you can enter it in a drone festival and possibly win a lot of money.

For instance, the Boston Drone Film Festival awards victors with a bag packed with supplies and a seven-day journey as the main prize. If submitting to festivals doesn’t work out, you can potentially win cash prizes or get advice from other users on AirVuz, which is a drone-specific version of YouTube.

Search And Rescue Training

Recognize that search and rescue efforts won’t be integrated into formal investigations if you decide to participate in them. Instead, once the investigation is through, you’ll fly your drone.

For instance, the business SWARM uses a network of volunteer pilots to do missing person and animal searches. Nonprofit organizations need group training instructors to get volunteers up to speed even if the majority of such employment is unpaid.

Investigate regional search and rescue organizations to get started. You might require specific tools as well as teaching abilities, such as a thermal camera.

Precision Agriculture

Farmers employ precision agriculture to keep an eye on and respond to changes in their crops. Drones are being used to survey fields to help farmers choose where to apply fertilizer, where to replant and trim, and where to plant seeds.

Efficiency has the added benefit of saving the environment in addition to money. High confidence is expressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that sustainable land management can lessen the impact of climate change on people and ecosystems. Offering your skills to farmers if you live close to a rural location could be a great way to help the environment and earn some additional money.

Aerial Mapping

For the purpose of planning future infrastructure and development projects, enormous tracts of land can be surveyed using drones. The photographs obtained from a drone survey can be used to create 3D maps, thermal maps, and other types of maps.

A local job search for aerial surveying positions can turn up some openings. Adding a listing for your services on a website like DronePilotsCentral or another comparable platform may also be a good idea.

Keep in mind that aerial mapping is a challenging technical job, therefore you might also need to look into training. Many businesses, including Pilot Institute, provide online training courses and classes for drone pilots. Additionally, you will require specialized drone mapping software for this task.


As you can see, there are lots of methods to make money once you’ve bought a drone and obtained the appropriate license in accordance with the laws in your region; you only need to put your mind to work and get inventive! Many people are beginning their own drone businesses, so if you want to stand out from the crowd, concentrate on efficient promotion and top-notch customer service. Of course, you also need to have excellent drone piloting skills!

Please don’t be hesitant to provide any additional drone-related revenue streams that we may have missed in the comments section.

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