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Drones for student part-time work?

dngum02

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I'm a first year aerospace engineering student at NC State in Raleigh interested in doing some work with drones to financially sustain myself. I'm on a scholarship so I dont need to make serious money to pay for school. Just want to make what money I can for myself instead of being a broke college student.

Of course, school will come first so I'm wondering what kind of drone work would be practical for a student to do in a part-time capacity. How flexible could I be with hours? Do I make my own hours?

I've been looking into drone photography for real estate as well as photography, dimensioning, and thermal imaging for roof inspections as possible things to pursue. My mom is a real estate agent in Charlotte so she may be able to help me a lot with finding clients for all things relating to real estate including inspections (for when I'm back at home in Charlotte at least).

In terms of my technical proficiency with drones, I've built two before one of which I used to demonstrate self landing capabilities for an internship. So anything relating to technology or software I will likely be able to wrap my head around.

Other than Part 107 are there any other certifications I'd have to get?

Ideally I could get a drone capable of doing everything I need for <$2000 but I have enough saved to go higher. Would it be a good idea to build a drone suited to my needs since I have some experience with that?

I think thats all the questions I have so feel free to answer as much as you wish. Thanks everybody and I'm happy to have found this forum!
 
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dronecyclops

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Welcome to the forum besides needing a 107 license you will need insurance and practice flying as much as possible are you going to do your own editing?
There are a lot of drones to choose from and you need to figure out what industry you want to work in mapping ,real estate, inspections, construction good luck and safe flying
 

Ajkm

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Be very careful about using words like “inspection”, or “survey”. Unless you have the appropriate professional qualifications as a surveyor or inspector, you are just a photographer.

As for “financially sustaining” yourself, if you want to avoid disappointment, aim to provide some pocket money as your goal. You would need to invest in a diverse business plan full time even to begin to think of making anything closely resembling enough money to live on.
 
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CactusJackSlade

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Not trying to put a damper on your idea... but yes, as Ajkm stated above pocket money should be your goal unless you roll out a pretty big business plan and invest in a bit of advertising. You could get lucky and land a single client that would keep you occupied. I have a construction company that uses me pretty much exclusively - but even then without several more clients like that I would still consider it a very part time pocket change job. I do not want to discourage you, but realize it's usually harder than just setting up shop and waiting for the phone to ring. As far as a rig goes I would suggest the Mavic Pro 2 or the ZOOM version depending on what you are going to be inspecting. You might even be able to get away with a first version Mavic Pro, you can get a real good deal on a low mileage used one for under $700 with multiple batteries. (what I sold mine for to upgrade to the Mavic Pro 2). Good luck!
 

BigAl07

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In NC you'll also need the NC DOT Aviation Commercial Permit but it's a breeze AFTER the Part 107.

Don't dilute our industry by having CHEAP rates. You hurt all of us working for peanuts and some of us need the income to support our families and pay our mortgages. Don't be that guy.
 

CactusJackSlade

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In NC you'll also need the NC DOT Aviation Commercial Permit but it's a breeze AFTER the Part 107.

Don't dilute our industry by having CHEAP rates. You hurt all of us working for peanuts and some of us need the income to support our families and pay our mortgages. Don't be that guy.
Yeah, similar situation in regular professional photography ever since digital cameras became readily available, now everyone is a photographer. Very similar in the aerial video/photo industry. I think the big difference is the quality of the end product and service you give the customers.
 
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