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How to become a professional drone pilot and what training to choose ? The Complete Guide.

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You want to become a professional drone pilot ? Whether you are new to drones or a drone enthusiast who wants to turn his passion into his profession, then you have come to the right place. Discover our complete guide which will give you as much information as possible about this fascinating new profession which is gaining in popularity.

Introduction to the profession of drone pilot (remote pilot)

No, you’re not dreaming, piloting a drone is now a profession in its own right. Far from being a simple hobby, the drone has become a tool that has become more professional in recent years and it is not surprising given the many features offered by aircraft. Indeed, many sectors have understood its interest and its application in different fields such as: civil engineering, precision agriculture, forestry, surveying, cartography, environment, mining, or production. audiovisual.

Like the job of an airplane pilot, becoming a drone pilot and/or remote pilot requires certain conditions and is learned through training. With the constant evolution of drones, legislation had to be put in place to regulate the conditions of their use. These exist primarily to ensure public safety. Transport Canada is the Canadian federal government department responsible for the development and application of transportation regulations and policies. A well-trained drone pilot is required to know the laws in place in order to practice his profession in the rules of the art. A little further down, we will discuss this topic in more depth.

Let’s take a closer look at how to practice this new profession in Quebec.

What are the skills and knowledge to have to become a drone pilot ?

When we think of drone piloting, we tend to believe that it is simply a matter of radio-controlling an aircraft. However, the necessary field of competence is much broader. You will need to have technical expertise of your equipment and to have read the regulations in force, these two points are two essential prerequisites.


From now on, Canadian airspace is now shared between all aircraft, whether manned or not. Therefore, your duty is to know the regulatory framework for drones in order to be able to fly safely.

Since June 2019, piloting a drone or “remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS)” with a maximum weight of 250 g to 25 kg inclusive, at take-off, requires training to learn all the basics.

If you fly a drone without meeting these requirements, you could be fined, ranging from $1,000 for individuals who use a drone recreationally to $5,000 for businesses who use a drone for commercial purposes. commercial purpose.

In addition, it is essential to register your drone with Transport Canada and display it on your aircraft.

The technical expertise of your equipment

In recent years, drone piloting has been greatly simplified with the latest technologies which allow, for example, to stabilize the positioning of the drone, and even to program its return to its starting point in an autumn way, but nevertheless a control of your device must be carried out according to the rules. Transport Canada standards instruct users to follow manufacturers’ recommendations for the maintenance of their aircraft. In general, maintenance should be carried out every 200 hours or 6 months and by a certified center.

What training or course is required to obtain your certification ?

Note that in Canada, there are 2 main categories of drone operations: basic operations and advanced operations.

Before any step, know that to be eligible for one of the two trainings you must meet these prerequisites :

• Be 14 years or older to take the exam basic operations

• Be 16 or older to take the exam advanced operations

Each is governed by a different set of rules that must be followed. The weight of your drone, distance from passers-by and airspace rules define your category. The rules do not distinguish between drone pilots for recreational purposes and drone pilots for commercial purposes.

What training do I need to be a drone pilot ?

If you meet the following 5 conditions, you are performing basic operations :

  • You are flying your drone in uncontrolled airspace ;
  • You fly your drone a horizontal distance of more than 30 meters (100 feet) from passers-by ;
  • You never fly your drone over passers-by ;
  • You are flying your drone more than 3 nautical miles from a certified airport or military airfield ;
  • You fly your drone more than a nautical mile from a certified heliport.

If applicable, if you do not meet any of these 5 conditions, you complete your advanced operations training program.

The latter offers you a complete program that offers you increased work prospects, access to the use of state-of-the-art equipment in almost all airspaces, and above all freedom of achievement in your flight operations.

At first, you benefit from a theoretical training which aims to raise your awareness and you will be taught in detail the following subjects :

  • Meteorology ;
  • Flight theory ;
  • Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) ;
  • Description and operation of drone systems ;
  • Air Navigation ;
  • Instrumentation applied to drones ;
  • Human factors influencing drone operations.

The second step is the practical training, you will have the opportunity to learn how to pilot different types of drones, whose sizes and characteristics will have the advantage of familiarizing you with your future drone. The practical part of the flight review is also on the program in order to be ready on the day of your certification. To do this, you will receive a virtual mission to complete and you must present it to your assessor, along with a description of all the tools necessary to complete this mission.

As you will have understood, if you want to become a professional drone pilot, the advanced operations certificate is mandatory.

How to pass your drone license ?

To pass your certificate, you must go to the Transport Canada website.

For each attempt to pass the exam, the fee is 10 $.

Drone piloting exams in Canada

The examination for basic operations or that for advanced operations are two separate certificates which break down as follows :

Basic Operations Review :

  • 35 multiple-choice questions ;
  • 90 minutes to complete it. If you are short on time, your exam will be graded based on the answers provided ;
  • To pass the exam, you must score 65% or higher.

Advanced Operations Review :

  • 50 multiple-choice questions ;
  • 60 minutes to complete it. If you are short on time, your exam will be graded based on the answers provided ;
  • To pass the exam, you must score 80% or higher.

What is the salary of a professional drone pilot ?

Once your drone pilot license has been acquired, the remuneration is excessively variable, as it depends on the agent, the type of mission, the location, etc. One thing is certain, companies today are ready to retain the services of the most competent pilots. With the constant evolution of technologies embedded in drones, this profession will be more and more in demand.

What are the career paths and opportunities?

The drone pilot can progress to a position of responsibility such as pilot team leader, trainer or even create his own structure. He can also focus on another sector of activity, which would better meet his aspirations. Today, and even more tomorrow, there are many opportunities: federal organizations, real estate agents, oil companies, precision agriculture, surveillance, search and rescue, parcel delivery, surveying, drone mapping, inspection of infrastructure, etc In addition, with the new environmental issues, specialized pilots will be increasingly necessary in order to meet the demand.

Why is DroneXperts the best school to prepare for your drone pilot certificate in advanced operations?

The examination leading to the Transport Canada pilot certificate requires a lot of specific knowledge that is difficult to know without being adequately guided.

Since 2013, DroneXperts has been the center of excellence and leader in the field of drone pilot training in Canada. Beyond providing simple training, you will have access to complete and tailor-made support.

Always on the lookout for changes in Transport Canada regulations, we have developed a set of training courses aimed at:

  • Make you the elite drone pilots of Canada ;
  • Introduction to technology embedded in drones ;
  • You bring the latest changes to Transport Canada regulations.

Our training courses are aimed at all people who wish to improve their skills in drone piloting or all managers who wish to train one or more pilots in-house.

DroneXperts specialists have more than 10,000 hours of experience in the field. You are therefore in good hands.

Whatever your current level of pilot training, we have training that adapts to your needs to make you pilots certified by Transport Canada.

If you want to learn more about our company, do not hesitate to consult our company page.

What is the price of a DroneXperts training ?

The cost of the training is variable, from 150 $ (basic training) at 4000 $ (complete accompaniment), depending on your needs, experience and knowledge. One of our experts will adapt the modules and guide you to the training that suits you.

Note that the training is eligible for subsidies from Emploi Québec. Please consult your Service Québec office to find out your eligibility.

Are you looking for top quality training to become a professional drone pilot ? Discover all our trainings.



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