How to get a drone license?

Hi everyone,

I’m a biologist and I need some help. I want to use a drone for my research, but first I have to get certified by the FAA because it’s considered a commercial job. I’ve been looking online for training courses, but I’m not sure what I need to learn for the test.

Can anyone suggest good courses or free materials for training? Also, any advice about the test itself would be great. Is it hard? Do I really need to take a course, or can I study on my own?

Thanks a lot.

@Mason To commercially pilot a drone, you must earn a Remote Pilot Certificate under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107).

Here’s how to get certified:

Training Courses and Resources

  • FAA Resources: The FAA offers a guide for new pilots that includes eligibility criteria, steps to certification, and exam topics.
  • Free Online Training: Access free courses on the FAASTeam website to learn about regulations and safe drone operation.
  • Drone Schools: Explore training classes from online drone schools listed on sites like Droneblog, which include preparation for the Part 107 certification.

** Study on Your Own**

  • Materials: Review the Airman Certification Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, the Remote Pilot Study Guide, and sample questions from the FAA.
  • Practice Tests: Take practice exams from sources like Drone U™, which also provides a free study guide.

Exam Preparation

  • Test Content: Expect questions on regulations, airspace, weather, load management, emergency procedures, and more.
  • Difficulty: The exam’s difficulty varies based on your knowledge of the topics. Adequate preparation can lead to success.
  • Course vs. Self-Study: Choosing between a structured course and self-study depends on your personal learning style and discipline.

Requirements and Application Process

  • You must be at least 16 years old, proficient in English, and physically and mentally capable of operating a drone safely. After passing the exam, you’ll apply for your Remote Pilot Certificate.

Biologist using a drone for research? Awesome! You need an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate (Part 107) for commercial use.

Here’s the shortcut:

  • Free FAA Training: The FAA has a free online course covering everything you need to know for the test [FAA training].
  • Self-Study Tips:
    • Focus on regulations, airspace rules, safety procedures, weather, and emergencies.
    • Take free practice tests online to identify areas needing work.

Courses are optional, but offer:

  • Structured learning with explanations.
  • Instructor support to answer your questions.

The test isn’t impossible with good studying! Good luck taking your research to new heights!