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Soaring to New Heights: How to Get Your Drone Pilot Certification

4 minute read

By Katherine Millar

Drones have rapidly become a part of our daily lives, used for various purposes, from capturing breathtaking aerial photos to delivering packages to our doorstep. But whether it’s just for fun or a potential career opportunity, it’s important for all pilots to get licensed and certified. To learn more about why certification is necessary and where to get it, continue searching online!

What are Drones?

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or quadcopters, are remote-controlled aircraft without a human pilot onboard. They come in various shapes and sizes, equipped with powerful cameras and sensors, making them versatile tools for a wide range of applications.

From recreational drones you might see at your local park to sophisticated drones used for aerial surveillance, these devices are redefining industries and hobbies alike.

Who Uses Drones?

Drones have found their way into numerous industries, changing the way we work and play. Here are just a few examples:

  • Aerial Photography and Videography
  • Agriculture
  • Search and Rescue
  • Package Delivery
  • Construction and Surveying

Do I Need Certification?

To operate your drone in accordance with the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107), securing a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA is essential. This certificate serves as evidence of your grasp of the regulations, operational prerequisites, and safe drone flight procedures.

Choosing the Right Drone Course

When selecting an online drone course, consider your learning style and ensure it covers FAA exam topics. Most courses are accessible on desktops, with some offering mobile apps. Completion usually takes 15-20 hours, and you often get lifelong access for flexible learning.

Prices vary, averaging $125 to $250, excluding the $175 FAA exam fee. Many schools provide money-back guarantees, demonstrating course effectiveness and reducing student risk. Some even offer compensation if you don’t pass your written exam.

Best Drone Certification Courses

Choosing the right course is crucial for your success as a drone pilot. Here are a few highly regarded options:

Drone Pilot Ground School

Drone Pilot Ground School offers personalized online instruction for top drone certification. They provide 1:1 lessons covering crucial topics in 15-20 hours, with lifetime access and unlimited support.

Discounts for various groups enhance accessibility. Priced at $299, it’s a valuable investment, but testing fees are separate. The money-back guarantee assures aspiring drone pilots.

Drone U

Drone U offers a flexible subscription model for drone pilot certification. Pay only when using the curriculum, saving costs. Beyond FAA training, access courses like drone photography. The curriculum covers key areas like regulations and weather.

Drone U offers focused topics and webinars. Recreational flyers can take the exam on the site, and finishing in a month can reduce costs. At $47/month, Drone U is an affordable, flexible choice for certification.

Drone Launch Academy 

Drone Launch Academy offers top drone certification with a quick online course, taking 5-15 hours to complete. It covers regulations and weather, providing a 75+ page E-book Study Guide.

If you fail the test, they cover the $175 fee. Priced at $199, it’s a solid investment with 200 practice questions, live office hours, and success tools. While it lacks live agent support, it offers comprehensive resources for drone pilot hopefuls.

The Pilot Institute

Pilot Institute’s Commercial Drone Pilot Course is one of the best due to its flexibility and high success rate. It offers self-paced learning, typically taking 15 hours, with lifelong access to comprehensive materials covering regulations, airspace, weather, and more.

With 300 practice questions, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and bonus content, it’s risk-free and valuable. Note that the testing fee is separate, but at $249, this course provides excellent value for aspiring drone pilots. They also offer a free Ultimate Drone Pilot Guide for those seeking a free course.

Unmanned Vehicle University

Unmanned Vehicle University (UVU) in Phoenix, Arizona, specializes in drone certification. Their Professional Certificate in UAS/Drone Operations is tailored for newcomers to the industry, covering topics like aerial cinematography and UAV pilot training.

UVU offers a blend of online and in-person courses, including fundamentals, mission planning, FAA Part 107 prep, and hands-on flight training. If you aim for a Part 107 license, UVU’s structured training program is a solid choice for recognized drone certification.

Dart Drones 

DARTdrones excels as a top-tier drone school, offering comprehensive training led by passionate experts. Founded by Abby Speicher, they specialize in scenario-based online training, ideal for aspiring drone pilots. Their Part 107 Test Prep course not only readies you for the FAA exam but also provides practical flight skills.

DARTdrones offers various courses, from test prep to advanced workshops, covering hands-on flight, photography, inspections, and 3D mapping. It’s a top choice for those aiming to pursue a drone piloting career and attain certification.

Start Flying Today!

Whether you’re pursuing this as a hobby or aiming for a profitable career, drones offer endless possibilities. Now, it’s your turn to take flight! If you’re eager to explore more about drone certification, regulations, or want to discover the perfect course for you, don’t hesitate to start your online search today.

Katherine Millar


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