FAA Drone Pilot CertificateCommercial drone operator class opens up job opportunities

June 17, 2021by helo-10

SURRY COUNTY, N.C. – Surry Community College is offering a commercial drone operator class to help support the movement of workers into what might become a hot new area of employment.

What You Need To Know

  • A commercial drone operator class is being offered at Surry Community College
  • An N.C. DOT-approved curriculum is used in the course
  • Many industries are adopting drone sectors, according to a Skyward 2018 report 


According to a 2018 report by Skyward, many major industries such as; construction, engineering, government, transportation and warehousing are adopting drone sectors. Surry Communnity College is hoping to feed local companies looking to hire done operators. Instructor Garett Howlett said it’s a great opporunity to get on board while it’s still an early trend. 

“Companies are starting to use them more and then we are piping down through high school level up … We are at Surry Community right now, trying to get people their certificate so they can fill those jobs that are out there,” Howlett said.

Commercial drone operator student, Vincent Rains, said he is hoping the class will bring him new opportunities in the workforce.

“I’ve wanted to for years and with that stimulus check last year, I just went ahead and jumped on it and at first it was just kind of a thing for fun. I’m like ‘yeah I’ll go ahead and blow some money on myself,’ but now I’ve actually really gotten into it so I figured I could start making some money with it,” Rains said.

The class was offered from May 4 through May 22. The class met synchronously on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m.

The course is meant to help prepare students for the knowledge test of the FAA Part 107 Unmanned Ariel Systems Rating Pilot’s License. 

The course is taught utilizing the N.C. Department of Transportaition Divison of Aviation approved curriculum. For more information you can visit their website.

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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