Drone Technology

Would you like to become a drone pilot? Did you know that opportunities for certified drone pilots are increasing? Are you wondering what the career path is for certified drone pilots? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, consider the Drone Certificate Program at DVC!

DVC drone over campusVisual access from above is easily achieved with drones. Now more than ever, opportunities for drone pilots in fields that include mapping, public safety, videography, and more, are on the rise. As of 2020, the current number of drones and certified pilots in the U.S. include:

  • Registered drones (recreational): 1,117,900
  • Registered drones (commercial): 441,709
  • Remote Pilots (FAA certified): 171,744

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates the number of commercial drones and drone pilots will increase by 17% each year during the next four years. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV or “drone”) pilots can expect to find employment in a variety of fields such as:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Geology
  • Delivery/fulfillment
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Real Estate
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Infrastructure Monitoring

DVC News Hub

Read what's happening in DVC's Drone Technology program

Certificates and degrees

DVC offers two certificates in Drone Technology:

  • Certificate of Accomplishment
  • Certificate of Achievement with specialization

You can earn a Certificate of Accomplishment by completing two core certificate courses where you will learn about:

  • Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS),
  • how to safely operate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and
  • how to prepare for the FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Examination.

With additional coursework, you can earn a Certificate of Achievement by taking additional classes from one of the disciplines below:

  • Biology,
  • Environmental Science,
  • Horticulture,
  • Administration of Justice,
  • Art Digital Media, or
  • Business.

Core courses:

  • GEOG 164: Fundamentals of Drone Operation and Licensing.

This 3-unit course introduces students to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), the technologies involved, and their operation. Course topics will include safety procedures, flight operations, and basic UAS maintenance. The laboratory portion will provide students with hands-on experience with piloting UAVs (drones). The course will also prepare students for the FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Examination.

  • GEOG 165: Drone Remote Sensing.

This 3-unit course introduces Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operations, data acquisition, and data processing techniques. Topics include UAS safety procedures, air space restrictions, flight mission planning, data acquisition, and data processing. The course will allow students to acquire data with UAS flight operations and process data for analysis, integration into Geographic Information Systems, and other deliverables.

Course schedule

To find current or upcoming classes, please use the searchable schedule.

Contact information


Michael Quinn




Physical Science and Engineering