Drone Operator

NOC #22301

  • Environment Primarily outdoor work
  • Education Post-secondary diploma
  • Average salary $51,000 to $89,000

Career profile

Drone operators operate, test, maintain and adjust unmanned drone equipment. Drones are used to observe and record data.

Drone operators need to understand and follow Transport Canada’s aviation regulations and keep up-to-date with rapidly changing technologies.

Exploration and production, Offshore, Pipelines, Oil sands, Oil and gas services, Emissions reduction, Construction

In this occupation, activities may include:

  • Preparing flight operations plans to communicate with stakeholders.
  • Monitoring the condition of drones and related equipment, accessories, completing basic maintenance and/or inspection activities and ensuring equipment is in good condition.
  • Coordinating with visual observers and ensuring they understand their responsibilities.
  • Completing pre and post-flight checks, logs and documents.
  • Completing flights in accordance with Transport Canada regulations and standard safety and operating procedures.
  • Assisting in obtaining necessary permits and approvals.
  • Collecting photography, videography and LiDAR data.


  • To conduct advanced operations, you must pass the small advanced exam and complete an in person flight review. Drone Flight School is strongly recommended.


  • Transport Canada RPAS Advanced Operations Pilot Certificate
  • Radio Operator license
  • Valid Driver’s license

Additional Requirements

  • Experience with aerial surveying techniques and flight planning software
  • Experience with AutoCAD, 3D models, photogrammetry and LiDAR
  • Knowledge of different sensor types may be considered an asset

  • Travel likely required
  • Primarily outdoor work
  • Work is physically demanding
  • Work away from home/in camps
  • Mechanical
  • Computers and electronics
  • Engineering and technology
  • English language
  • Production and processing
  • Operation monitoring
  • Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality control analysis
  • Critical thinking