Can you REALLY make £65,000 as a Drone Pilot? | Mr MPW

Can you REALLY make £65,000 as a Drone Pilot? | Mr MPW

There are lots of Drone Training Companies in the industry; particularly in the UK who it seems are ‘Selling the Dream’ of becoming a VERY well paid commercial drone operator… But, is it possible to earn the kind of amounts which some of these Drone Training Schools are telling people or is it just a lot of hot air?

In today’s video, we dive on in and take a look…

Links to useful videos and documents below:
🖤The CAA & EASA 1:1 ( One to One ) Rule:
🖤Discussion about the 249g MTOM of the Mavic Mini:
🖤Link to downloadable Open Category GUIDE:
🖤Link to EASA / CAA A2 Self Certification Requirements:

Please feel free to rate the video and leave any comments or questions below…

There are more videos and reviews coming all the time so be sure to check back regularly or subscribe to stay up to date!

Blue skies,


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  1. Alan Little on February 23, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Nice video Matt. You are dead right. We see exactly the same thing with thermal imaging. Buying the kit does not make a successful business.

    The truth to any business, if it’s to survive and thrive, is that you need hard graft and years of metronomic dedication from the founders.

    We sell drone surveys and sub-contract the work to 3-4 trusted partners. £65K for a start up in a crowded, emerging sector, start up is fantasy land. You will burn £4K of fuel and depreciate your car and drone by a similar amount every year. Add in hotels, food, tax, rent rates, heat, light, accountant, legal fees, RAMS, insurance… you will soon see the truth emerge.

    Earning a true £65K – doing anything – means turning over much more. Maybe, £100K as a one person business without additional staff to pay. No matter how good the kit you buy, no matter how good a pilot you are and no matter where you are in the country – you have to be brutally honest with yourself and ask two questions. 1. Can you sell? and 2. Are you prepared to work 60 hours a week for no money for months to get your business off the ground?

  2. revb0 on February 23, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Matt, I can earn Sixty five K easily! Trouble is they want to pay me in the Venezuelan Bolivar.
    Nice to see you back.

  3. Wharton Outdoors on February 23, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    How do you decide on what to charge? I have almost two years experience as an operator for someone else, and am toying with the idea of going solo. What to charge is my stumbling block, oh and understanding what I need from the CAA as 2021 begins.

  4. Obliviatora on February 23, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you for the honest reality check, very helpful! I have a question: You explained that you actually made good money with drone flying. May I ask why you moved away from it? Do I understand correctly that drone training allows you to make even better money and provide more consistent income?

  5. MD IMAM HOSSAIN Majumder on February 23, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    I am interested for studying more about Drone and its business, what should I do to start and how much money will it take ?

  6. Paul Reynolds on February 23, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Good points raised Matt. More sensible to treat as a hobby before relying on this as your main income.

  7. Ian Davie on February 23, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    I’m currently studying for my PFCO and am under no illusions that I’m going to be making anywhere near these figures. At the moment it’s a hobby for me and if I can make some money here and there then for me that’s going to be a bonus. Keep up the good vids ✌🏽

  8. Phantom and the Drone on February 23, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Train driver…67 grand pa for a 4 day week!! That leaves 3 days for flying drones…🤫
    As for just being a drone pilot?? I guess if you worked inside a company like network rail or the national grid that have their own drones and pilots, then you would be on between 45/65 grand a year. If you want to go it alone then the amount of work you have to put in is huge!! Its a big step, and it doesn’t just come overnight.
    Good to see your back Matt! 👍👏

  9. Michael Sharp on February 23, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Wow! Why not just become an MP? (85,000 +) no stress, no expertise, just be dumb, easy. Yeah?.

  10. Alex the Brewmage on February 23, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    Good to have you back!
    The job availablity here in the UK is definitely pushing me to get better and learn as much as I can drone wise. I thought I could have a day job and do this on the side but there just aren’t any jobs around currently so I put all my energy into getting better at flying and taking pictures.

  11. James Moore on February 23, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    people watching to many "i make £2k a day with my drone". I brought a p4 pro v2 a year ago and has sat in box for 8 months due to working. Will learn more soon and a course. Would be happy to cover rent or mortgage a month. As im SIA badged for cctv ect more looking to do photos of houses for sale or events, as well as security patrols etc and maybe later search and rescue. Got a lot of links for doing photos and videos of building sites as well

  12. Simonida Kadic on February 23, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Before or after tax?

  13. andrew maudsley on February 23, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Wonder how much people make dropping drugs in prisons, plus you know they be registered, need to be registered lol

  14. Terrestrial Reconnaissance on February 23, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Welcome back Matt. Sound advice, as usual, there is lots of sound advice that you have already produced many useful YouTube presentations. Building a new business is very hard work and in my personal experience, is all about networking – on top of investment in training, qualifications, and equipment. Rgds William.

  15. Old Fart with a Gopro on February 23, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    knowledge is important too. You need to be an expert in photography and editing, not just having good gear.

  16. Jim Hoova on February 23, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Really enjoyed the points you raised. I think this has opened alot of People’s eyes. Like any new Business It takes hard work and dedication. Be prepared for absolutely anything and everything going wrong. I think also one needs a lot of luck too. But sound advice. Don’t give up your Job for It as a Newby. My latest pfco training price is just under £700. For the two day course.

  17. Alex Moczek on February 23, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    A lot does your confidence with communication with clients. You should also teach that too. Have a fantastic day

  18. DTM S on February 23, 2021 at 11:47 pm


  19. F G on February 23, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Moving to the UK in the next months and would love to continue doing assignments with my drone. I am mainly into drone photography and built a portfolio of the place I currently live which is Malta. A good composition and editing is crucial but these days everybody with a camera thinks he is a photographer. Will follow this channel to learn more about the laws in the UK and how to get the right license and find people to work with in the future.

  20. LeoFPV on February 23, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Welcome back mate!

  21. Nafiz Haq on February 23, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Understand that technology has become ever more democratise, what it would have required a full team to do a media or creative work, today your high end mobile phone can do with the help of AI. So its not as easy as It sound !

  22. Echo Alfa Ltd on February 23, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    He speaks! Glad you’ve got your voice back! Does this mean you’ll be back on the beers for next week? Good to see another video telling it like it is, no doubt this will irk some of your competition 😆

  23. Davy Mac on February 23, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Makes me appreciate my job as an aircraft engineer pulling in 37k if I’m honest but I’m actually interested in getting into this industry as something I can do alongside my current job.

  24. TetleyK on February 23, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks Matt. Topical as usual, looking forward to the A2 CofC videos.

  25. Anthony Harrison on February 23, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    FFS! £65 k is really rubbish … the going day rate for a Xamarin (app) developer) is £700 to £750 a day in London … didn’t you fly in the RAF? FFS!

  26. Lewis Steeper on February 24, 2021 at 12:01 am

    One of the reasons I stopped teaching the PFCO courses with an NQE was seeing folks coming through the courses with Mavics, even sparks with a vision of dominating the drone industry and sadly get their qualifications and then struggle to earn a single penny and some had quit full time jobs to do this. You are absolutely correct, in finding a niche, the smaller "common" markets are flooded with newly qualified operators, who compete against each other for a race to the lowest price just for "any work".

    I started a UAV business 5 years ago, on my own, whilst still in full time employment (55k). Two years ago, I went full time drone and now have 3 pilots doing fairly well income wise (self employed) but it all boils down, as said above and by yourself, finding a niche.

    A word of advice to anyone looking to join the drone industry, please please do not quit full time jobs to follow the dream, its something to build up slowly, gain client respect and confidence in your operations and it will come to you.

    Keep up the good work Matt.

  27. David Owens on February 24, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Good to have you back!

  28. Simon Leach on February 24, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Welcome back. I am glad you are feeling better. Thank you to you and your team for supporting us all as we move forward

  29. Peter Davies on February 24, 2021 at 12:11 am

    Great Video thanks!

  30. Keith's Phone on February 24, 2021 at 12:12 am

    Drones are not just for photography filming etc, surveying is a bit more specialised and not for everyone as the investment is more and a lot more precessional indemnity. But the rewards can be higher. However you really needs to to know surveying, so not for everyone and hard to break into as a business.

  31. Eric Watt on February 24, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Great to see you back i can only dream up here in Fraserburgh might get £65 a year

  32. Zephyr Aerial Films on February 24, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Great video again bud! Glad your feeling ok!

  33. Robin FPV on February 24, 2021 at 12:15 am

    I can’t believe I’ve already wasted for years studying to become a psychologist when I could have just done a PFCO and got a Mavic 2

  34. Nick Lewis on February 24, 2021 at 12:15 am

    This is great advice and I hadn’t heard the £65k thing. Since learning of the new courses and options open to people, it has piqued my interest to investigate how I get from A to Z if I were to seriously consider drones as a business idea. Many people say I should but I look at my Mavic and doubt I’d cut the mustard with that alone. I run a web business at the moment and know how tough it can be. I can do just as well financially some years.

  35. Gary 6511 on February 24, 2021 at 12:16 am

    Refreshing to hear the reality of the industry👍

  36. AndyMast666 on February 24, 2021 at 12:17 am

    Did you go to the Showmans Show at Newbury with an Apache, late 90’s.

  37. PHowarthPhotography on February 24, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Wow…Fantastic reality check!!! Impressed!

  38. Andyxeno on February 24, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Great video, as someone with no drone experience & considering venturing into using drones to make a living i appreciate your candor (subscribed 😉 )

  39. Ioan Said on February 24, 2021 at 12:19 am

    For me it’s an add on to my photography business. I am turning up to your course with a Mavic (a clearly much loathed Mavic Air 2 from what I can see on various videos) but I’m approaching it, I think, in a professional way. I’m currently spending as much time I can flying. (I’ve flown every 2 days since I’ve bought it). Same empty field, just practicing my flying technique, adjusting my touch on the controls. I’ve also bought things which will help identify me to the public when I’m working as a professional drone operator. And today, I spent half of the day (the half I wasn’t flying) contacting old photography clients asking them for an online review, directing them to a page that now mentions drones! Which opens conversations about future work..

    Then my plan is to master flying the basics and then move to bigger, better drones and we’ll see where it takes me!

  40. Nick Lewis on February 24, 2021 at 12:19 am

    To follow up. I think it will be good to take one of the courses and get a qualification not for the sake of income but to better myself as an aerial photographer. The qualification will allow me more scope to fly with more confidence, share my productions online build an audience. You can only start a business if you are comfortable you can walk the walk. Fly the fly instead perhaps!!

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