Build Your Career As A Drone Service Technician

By Dr. Abhilasha Gaur, Chief Operating Officer, Electronics Sector Skills Council of India

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Flying a drone is an exciting, captivating, and intriguing activity that has grown in popularity worldwide. But new questions are now being asked, how profitable can flying a drone be as a career? Is the only option to be a drone pilot? Answer NO. There is a lot of career option available in the drone industry. Do you wish to be in a career that will always be in demand? Then you should consider becoming a Drone Service Technician.

As with any career path, it begins with professional training. When starting a career, the training provider you choose will inevitably set the tone for your entire career – so choose a trusted and approved provider of the Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI), a mandated body of skilling for the electronics sector. Let’s start with how can you make a career in this sector:

Let’s first explain drones

There was a time when Drone, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) was just a concept, and today it has gained so much traction that it is marking its presence in several verticals. Drone technology covers everything from the aerodynamics of the drone, materials in the manufacture of the physical UAV, to the circuit boards, chipset, and software, which are the brains of the drone. The drone technique has emerged as a boon during the Corona transition.

Why Career Opportunities in the Drone Sector?

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The Civil Aviation Ministry estimates India’s drone sector to achieve a total turnover of Rs. 120-150billion (US$ 1.63-2.04 billion) by 2026, from its current turnover of about Rs. 800 million (US$ 10.88million). In addition, the government plans to attract investments of Rs. 5,000 crores (US$ 669.07million) in the next three years in the drone manufacturing industry and create job opportunities. The government is also encouraging start-ups and MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) to invest in drone technology by easing the eligible annual sales bracket at a minimum level—Rs. 2 crores (US$ 267.63 thousand) for drones and Rs. 50 lakh (US$ 66.91 thousand) for drone components.

What does a Drone Service Technician do?

A Drone Service Technician conducts routine maintenance, troubleshoots and repairs malfunctioning or defective Drone while ensuring adherence to standard working practices. The individuals in this job maintain and repair drones of varying sizes that are used in various applications such as taking aerial photos or videos, transporting goods, firefighting and emergency operations, power line inspections, clandestine inspections, etc.

Replace the faulty board and components and perform basic /SMD soldering/de-soldering. Disassemble and assemble different parts of the drone for testing and repair. Understand different batteries used for the power supply of drones, their specifications and testing.

Application and testing of different sensors used in drones. Testing of different motors BLDC etc, Electronic Speed Controller card and it’s connectivity with the motor. Testing of flight controller and the communication between transmitter and receiver and its calibration.

Testing of landing gear, GPS Module, collision avoidance sensor and it’s connectivity with console. Testing of the transmitter, the control box to a receiver at drone and the communication link. Testing of Gimbal Motor, Controller rand its programming. The individual in this job identifies different applications in agriculture, surveillance, and security and tests the additional specific application-based components to connect with drones.

Personal Attributes of the candidate

The individual must have attention to detail, logical thinking, and the ability to execute the repair and maintenance activity as per the client’s requirement. The individual should be good at following instructions and work collaboratively with diverse teams. S/he must stay abreast with technology changes and demonstrate strong technical expertise. Also, S/he must exhibit good customer service attributes – courtesy, problem-solving, reliability, good decision-making skills, etc.

Education and Skills Requirements

Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI), which is an apex body for skill development and certification in the electronics domain, under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneur, has developed ‘Qualification Packs’ (QPs) aligning to international standards for Drone Service Technician job role. The council has aligned its skilling competencies with the industry requirements and is making an all-out effort in meeting the industry requirements for skilled and certified Drone Service Technician with relevant technical capabilities, thus giving a boost to the growth of the sector along with creating employment opportunities for the youth of the country.

Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) is building an eco-system for drone technology and making a pool of industry and academia. Recently, ESSCI has signed two MoU, one with Kaushalya – The Skill University and another with IG Drone, a leading player of drone sector for developing of university-based curriculum and industry-oriented training.

Key skills and interests

  • To become a Drone Service Technician, you would require:
  • A strong interest in aviation.
  • The ability to think in 3D.
  • Strong concentration skills.
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure.
  • IT and Math skills.
  • Good knowledge of various types and properties of Drone
  • Good analytical skills
  • Awareness of the latest Drone Technology

Career Progression

Can join Aviation industry/other sectors as drone technician for implementing different applications of Drone and will progress further as Senior Technician, Supervisor and can rise up to the level of Manager.

Can work in a Drone service center as a specialist.

Start your own Drone Training Centre and become an Entrepreneur in the related field.

At the initial stage, a skilled person can earn around Rs 5 – 6 lakhs. With experience and expertise, one’s income can potentially increase.

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