Drone Service Provider Jobs Have Doubled in the Last Four Years, According to New Report
BY Zacc Dukowitz29 June 2022
A new report from Drone Industry Insights (DroneII) finds that jobs for drone service providers have increased significantly over the last four years.
The report contains research conducted in April and May of this year, providing an update to a similar report published in 2019 using data collected the year before.
The drone industry is still fairly new, and four years is a long time.
Since DroneII last collected data drone companies have grown an average of 15%—this not despite of but apparently because of the pandemic—and several universities have launched drone-focused programs and degrees around the world.
So what does the job market look like for graduates of those new university-level drone programs? And for anyone, for that matter, who wants to find work in the drone industry?
DroneII looked at 1,0004 job postings on Linkedin, Indeed, StepStone, company websites, and elsewhere to collect data on drone jobs throughout the world. The jobs they included in their report cover any type of work found at a drone company, from software engineer to positions in marketing and sales to work providing drone services.
Let’s take a look at what they found.
Drone Service Provider Jobs Have Doubled Since 2018
One of the biggest insights from DroneII’s research is that jobs for drone service providers have risen significantly since 2018, going from 176 to 374—which is a little more than double.
And it wasn’t just the number of drone service jobs that increased. The overall percentage of drone service jobs from the entire list of drone jobs increased as well.
In 2018, drone service provider jobs made up 19% of all the drone jobs out there, or 176 out of 903. But in 2022, that amount increased to 37%, or 374 out of 1,004.
According to DroneII, one big reason for this increase is that the drone industry is exiting its infancy, and has entered a phase where drones are now a commonly used and recognized commercial tool.
Now that the industry as a whole has become more mature, it is all about applying drone technology.
– Drone Industry Insights
It’s important to note that drone jobs related to software have also seen a significant increase since 2018. Those jobs rose from just 9% in 2018 (77 out of 903) to 17% in 2022 (169 out of 1,004). Jobs in hardware on the other hand saw a noticeable decline, dropping from 69% (626 out of 903) to 46% (461 out of 1,004).
These numbers also fit DroneII’s explanation, since they reflect a shift from developing drone technology toward implementing it.
The U.S. Has the Most Drone Jobs in the World, and Other Key Findings
Here are some other key takeaways from the report.
The U.S. Has the Vast Majority of Drone Jobs
The majority of drone jobs that DroneII found in its research were found in the U.S.—of all the open drone jobs in the world, 41% were located in America, with Germany following in second place at 15%. India and Australia were tied for 3rd place, with just 5% each.
However, there is a big asterisk to be noted for this data.
As DroneII writes in the report, “China and other Asian countries not only use entirely different writing systems, they are also dominated by different search engines, job portals and hiring cultures.” Meaning that the list is probably not globally representative, since it’s most likely leaving out several countries where the drone industry has a strong presence (most notably China, of course).
The Top Two Drone Jobs Are . . .
It might sound a little strange, but the two biggest types of drone jobs hiring right now are Software Engineering and Marketing & Sales.
This data could also reflect a shift toward maturity for the drone industry.
As drone companies have become more established, they’re now shifting from developing and testing their technology toward refining it and making it useful for various applications—that’s where the work in software comes in.
And they’re also shifting toward actually getting that technology into people’s hands, which is why there are so many positions in Marketing & Sales.
What Kinds of Drone Companies Are Hiring?
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of drone companies and how many of them had open positions:
- Hardware (that is, companies that actually make drones) had the most jobs at 46%, or 461 out of 1,004 jobs.
- Drone service companies were second at 37%, or 374 out of 1,004 jobs.
- Software companies had 17%, or 169 out of 1,004 jobs.
An interesting data point here is that drone delivery jobs make up a big portion of all the drone jobs in the U.S.
This reflects the fact that drone delivery is actually seeing traction in the U.S., thanks to companies like Wing, DroneUp, and Flytrex. And given that Zipline just got approval to begin widespread drone delivery in the U.S., there are sure to be many more drone delivery jobs opening up soon.
And honestly, we wouldn’t have predicted this back in 2018—back then, it seemed like drone delivery might be stalled forever by regulatory challenges. But those challenges were overcome, and we are actually doing drone delivery today.