A variety of industries use unmanned aircraft systems. Many engineers work for aerospace and defense companies like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, as well as for aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing. Engineers also work for military services, federal agencies, engineering companies, construction companies, and businesses in agriculture, forestry, computer science.
Many drone engineers get started in their careers through an internship or co-op program while they are in school. They learn about job openings through their career services office and by attending job fairs. Engineers search for job openings also through professional associations, employment Web sites, and by contacting companies directly.
Drone engineers with five or more years of experience advance to senior engineer positions, in which they handle more complex projects and responsibilities. Those with 10 or more years of experience in supervisory roles may become chief engineers, responsible for overseeing the progress and completion of drone engineering projects, managing larger teams and staff that may be located in different offices, and traveling to meet with clients and other team members. Drone engineers may become college professors and also teach workshops and speak at conferences hosted by industry associations.
Tips for Entry
Learn more about job opportunities by visiting the career section of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's Web site, http://www.auvsi.org/auvsi-resources/jobs.
Find articles, job listings, a list of schools that offer drone training programs, and other resources at the Drone Training Headquarters' Web site, https://dronetraininghq.com.
Learn more about unmanned aircraft systems and the Federal Aviation Administration's rules and requirements for flying these systems by visiting the FAA's Web site, https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started.