Drone Engineers

Drone Engineers Adjust an Aircraft

Drone engineers develop drones based on their knowledge of different branches of engineering, such as aeronautical, electronics and electrical, mechanical, and robotics engineering. Also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones may be used for commercial, consumer, or combat purposes. For example, they may be used for surveying damage after natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, gathering military intelligence, surveying land for real estate and construction purposes, and collecting information on crops and endangered species. Many mechanical engineers are involved in the design and manufacturing of drones. Their work involves reading and interpreting blueprints; researching, designing, and operating drones and drone systems, equipment, and processes. There were 285,790 mechanical engineers employed in the United States in May 2016, according to the Department of Labor.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Plan and design unmanned aircraft systems for military, commercial, and non-commercial purposes; work closely with engineering teams
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist throughout the country, with the highest employment levels in California, Ohio, and Texas
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Two to three years; internship; on-the-job training
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Problem-Solving
  • Realistic
  • Computer
  • Math
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Chief Drone Engineer
  • Drone Engineer
  • Junior Drone Engineer

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