Can I Make Money with my FPV Drone?

can I make money with my fpv drone

FPV drones offer profitable opportunities in various market segments such as real estate, event coverage, and selling stock footage. Growing demand in these areas makes FPV drone services a viable way to make money with your FPV Drone.

Hello, and welcome to my blog. In this article, I share insights on how you can monetize your FPV drone skills. As we already know, flying FPV (First-Person View) drones is exciting and fun, but as FPV drone technology advances, it’s becoming more than just a hobby. FPV drones offer a different style of flight and capture than standard drones; they offer unique capabilities that open up innovative commercial opportunities. So, maybe you’re wondering ‘can I make money with my FPV drone?’ Drawing from my experience in the commercial drone industry, I will cover how FPV drones can be a vital part of your lucrative business venture, focusing on practical commercial service ideas. I’ll share my experiences in various sectors like real estate marketing, event coverage, licensing stock footage and more, guiding you on how to turn your FPV drone into a source of income. Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of making your drone hobby pay off.

Market Statistics and Earnings Potential for FPV Drones

Understanding the market is crucial when looking to make money with your FPV drone. The numbers speak volumes about the growth we’re witnessing. As of this writing in 2024, drone photography services alone are estimated to be worth $617.6 million. This figure is not just impressive; it’s indicative of a rising trend, with projections suggesting a growth to nearly $3.5 billion by 2033.

This exponential growth extends beyond just photography. It’s my observation from working in different sectors, the applications for FPV, and need for skilled FPV drone pilots is on the rise. In real estate, the potential for FPV drones is quite significant, transforming property listings, making them more engaging, drawing in more potential buyers and leading to higher sales. In fact, listings with video content, see a 403% increase in inquiries. When it comes to events, the impact of drones is undeniable. Providing both aerial and FPV footage for occasions like concerts and weddings adds a depth and dimension to coverage that wasn’t possible before, creating unforgettable memories and experiences. The potential in these sectors alone underscores the diverse opportunities available for FPV drone services.

The numbers are clear, the demand for FPV drone services is surging across diverse industries, making this an opportune time to consider how you can make money with your FPV Drone.

Diverse Commercial Applications of FPV Drones

Now, let’s take a look at the various industries where I’ve seen FPV drones make a significant impact with their unique capabilities.

Real Estate: Dynamic Showcasing

I’ve already hinted that one of the more significant market sectors offering the opportunity to make money with your FPV drone is real estate, where dynamic showcasing is becoming increasingly popular. Imagine the viewer gliding smoothly through a property, weaving elegantly through each room. Providing a view that feels more personal and detailed than what you’d get from traditional videography. This isn’t just about seeing the space; it’s about experiencing it.

For exterior shots, FPV drones complement standard aerial views by providing unique, captivating perspectives of property features. These drones can swoop down to highlight a swimming pool and pool house, then ascend for a sweeping view of the entire property, all in one fluid, engaging shot. This dynamic and immersive approach can make a property listing stand out remarkably, potentially capturing the interest of potential buyers far more effectively than static images or conventional aerial footage.

gale-force-drone-real-estate-photographyClick into my article “Are Realtors Hiring Drone Photographers?” to learn the benefits of using drones in real estate marketing.

By incorporating FPV drones into real estate videography, we’re not just selling properties; we’re crafting compelling visual stories that resonate with clients and enhance the appeal of listings.

Event Coverage: Immersive Experiences

Another of the key sectors where you can make money with your FPV drone is event coverage. FPV drones bring a distinctive angle to event filming with their nimble flight capabilities allowing them to move swiftly and navigate through tight spaces;  particularly beneficial for events with lots of movement and energy like concerts or sports events. FPV drone shots in these settings immerse viewers into the action. For instance, filming a concert with an FPV drone can offer viewers a sense of being right in the crowd, a viewpoint traditional cameras might not easily capture. This kind of footage can be especially appealing to clients looking for a fresh perspective in their event coverage. While FPV drones don’t revolutionize event filming, they certainly add a unique and exciting dimension to it.

Construction and Infrastructure:  Detailed Inspections

DJI Avata FPV DroneFPV drones are increasingly becoming a crucial tool in construction and infrastructure inspections. In addition to standard drones that capture broad, intelligent image and video data, FPV drones offer a complementary approach with their agility and maneuverability. FPV drones can be flown into intricate areas, like navigating around and under bridge sub-structures, demonstrating valuable effectiveness in close-up inspections. These drones can fly close to structures to identify cracks, faults, corrosion, and other critical issues that might not be as easily visible with standard methods.

In one of my recent projects, we utilized an FPV drone to inspect the underside of a bridge, providing detailed views of areas challenging to access due to it being close above the water line and inaccessible by boat or with larger drones. The FPV drone’s ability to get up close to the structure allowed us to pinpoint areas needing repair and maintenance, significantly enhancing the safety and longevity of the infrastructure.

In construction sites, FPV drones can navigate within partially built structures to inspect wiring, piping, and other internal elements, ensuring that potential issues are identified early in the construction process. This capability of FPV drones to offer detailed inspections in construction and infrastructure not only improves the quality of the assessment but also contributes to the safety and efficiency of these crucial projects.

Opportunities in Stock Footage and Social Media

With the evolution of FPV drones and innovative FPV drone pilots, this niche is rapidly becoming a serious segment in the commercial drone industry, opening up exceptional opportunities to make money with your FPV drone in stock footage and social media. The dynamic, captivating footage captured by FPV drones is increasingly sought after in the film and television industry. This footage lends an exhilarating dimension to visual storytelling, thus becoming a valuable asset for stock media platforms.”

Regarding Stock Media Platforms – these platforms are websites where you can join and upload your footage for sale. There’s a variety to choose from, with some of the most popular being Shutterstock, Getty Images, POND5, Adobe Stock, and Storyblocks, among others.

For Social Media, platforms like Instagram, TikTok, X and YouTube offer excellent avenues for FPV pilots to showcase their skills and creativity. In addition, the potential for monetization on social media platforms is varied – ranging from ad revenue and sponsorships to affiliate marketing. The key lies in creating engaging, high-quality content that showcases the capabilities of FPV drones.

The actual event that introduced me to this opportunity was once when I was driving through downtown Houston Texas, and passed the Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park and decided to stop off and get a quick drone shot. Later on, I created a little video and put it up on YouTube. A year or so after-the-fact, I received an email asking if I would be willing to license the video. Now, remember, I shot the video on a whim for my own personal enjoyment. Needless to say, I was happy to sell the licensing, and for a handsome fee.

More so, there’s an emerging market where clients are seeking FPV pilots to fly specific footage for their social media platforms for marketing content purposes. This demand is opening the doors for commissioned work, providing FPV drone pilots with more opportunities to earn through their unique aerial filming skills.

This combination of stock footage sales and social media presence can form a potent mix for FPV drone pilots looking to turn their passion into profit. Whether it’s breathtaking landscapes, adrenaline-pumping action sequences, or unique cultural insights, FPV drones have the ability to capture footage that keeps viewers coming back for more. Your success will come from telling a story or sharing an experience that resonates with viewers.

Training and Certification for FPV Drone Pilots

As an FPV drone pilot navigating the commercial drone industry, proper training and certification are critical for anyone looking to make money with your FPV drone. Ensuring safety and legal compliance in drone operations is paramount, and this starts with obtaining the necessary certifications and understanding FAA regulations.

Obtaining your FAA Part 107 certification is essential for any drone pilot looking to fly commercially, including FPV footage for commercial application. This certification ensures you understand airspace regulations, safety practices, and the legal aspects of drone operations.

It’s important to note that even with FPV drones, it’s always wise to maintain a visual line of sight and avoid flying directly over or around people unless you meet specific conditions outlined for different drone categories. The safety of people on the ground, as well as adherence to airspace regulations, can’t be overstated. Being well-versed in these regulations is crucial for legal and safe drone operations.

We should also be mindful that beyond certification, continuous learning and practical training are vital. Understanding the nuances of your drone’s capabilities, staying updated on the latest regulations, and practicing responsible flying are ongoing aspects of being a professional FPV drone pilot. Engaging in courses, workshops, and community forums can also be immensely beneficial for skill development and staying connected with the evolving dynamics of drone technology and regulations.

Investment and Equipment for FPV Drone Services

Setting up your Commercial FPV Drone Business requires a healthy balance of both skill and passion, along with the right equipment. If you’re wondering if you can make money with your FPV drone, understanding the investment and equipment needed is an important first consideration. Below is a rundown of my recommendations to start and advance in this exciting field.

DJI Mavic 3 DroneGetting Started – Utilizing What You Have:

If you’re just starting out in FPV and already have a standard drone, a budget-friendly approach might be all you need to begin. Many popular models, like the DJI Mini or Mavic series, are adaptable for FPV use. For example, pairing a DJI Mini 3 with DJI FPV Goggles V2 Motion Combo involves a simple process: just update the goggles and the drone, bind them together, and you’re ready to fly in FPV mode. This is a game-changer for drone owners looking to delve into FPV without the immediate need for additional investment. This capability opens up exciting possibilities for entry-level pilots, providing a cost-effective way to explore and offer FPV footage.

*Tip* DJI released an update making it possible to use the DJI FPV Goggles V2 with Mini 3 Pro, Mavic 3, 3 Pro, Classic and Cine, compatible exclusively with the Motion Controller. To capture smooth and professional footage, just take off first and turn the goggles on later.

Advanced Equipment for Professionals:

As your skills in FPV piloting mature, transitioning to professional-grade equipment becomes essential to enhance your commercial offerings. Drones like the DJI Avata Pro-View (with DJI Goggles 2) and its soon-to-be-released successor, the Avata 2, are increasingly favored by professionals for their robust capabilities and advanced features. My own experiences with the DJI Avata in various professional scenarios have been exceptional. Whether it’s capturing detailed real estate tours, covering dynamic events, or undertaking precise industrial applications, the versatility of the Avata series stands out. These drones not only deliver superior performance but also open doors to new creative possibilities and commercial opportunities.

Career and Earnings Potential in FPV Drone Services

The commercial FPV drone piloting sector is just beginning to carve out its niche. For those looking to make money with your FPV drone, let’s look at the broader drone pilot market for income benchmarks. According to recent statistics, the average salary for drone pilots in the United States hovers around $60,000 per year, with a potential range from  about $30,000 to well over $100,000 annually, depending on experience and specialization. The middle 50% of earners typically see incomes between $45,000 to $70,000.

FPV Pilot Opportunities: FPV drone pilots, engaging in dynamic sectors like real estate, event coverage, and inspections, can expect similar earning opportunities. The unique capabilities of FPV drones to capture immersive, dynamic footage lend themselves to lucrative applications:

  • Real Estate: FPV pilots in real estate can earn between $50 to $100 per hour, thanks to their ability to create compelling property showcases.
  • Event Coverage: FPV drone footage at events adds an adrenaline rush to coverage, potentially attracting high-paying assignments.
  • Industrial and Construction Inspections: FPV drones’ precision in inspections can command competitive fees or project-based rates.
  • Stock Footage and Social Media: Diversifying into stock footage sales and social media content creation with FPV footage offers an additional revenue stream. Income here varies based on content quality and audience reach.
  • Sector-Specific Roles: Pilots with expertise in sectors like telecommunications and energy have the potential for high earnings, sometimes surpassing $100/hour.
  • Freelancing and Entrepreneurship: Many FPV drone pilots work as freelancers or run their drone businesses, offering bespoke services across various industries.

The FPV drone piloting field, reflecting the broader drone industry trends, holds significant income potential. The key for FPV pilots to tap into these opportunities lies in continuous skill development, specialization, and keeping pace with industry demands​.

Closing Thoughts on the FPV Drone Business


So, yeah, embracing FPV drone technology offers a vibrant and exciting pathway for enthusiasts, hobbyists, and current drone service providers to either launch a new business or diversify an existing one. The possibilities within this field are not only vast but also evolving, with proven opportunities in dynamic sectors as described in this article. The true extent of FPV drone capabilities is yet to be fully discovered, hinting at a future rich with unexplored potential and innovative services.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your drone services, FPV piloting can elevate your offerings, opening doors to new challenges and lucrative rewards. So, take this opportunity to explore, learn, and grow in the FPV drone industry. With passion, dedication, and the right approach, you can turn the skies into an adventure of professional achievement and financial success.

starter guide to marketing your drone services businessClick into my article “Starter Guide to Market Your Drone Services Business” to learn how you can set up your marketing and start getting clients!

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