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Best Online Drone Schools (Free & Paid)

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So, you want to learn to fly a drone, right? It’s a good thing you’re here, as you’re just in time for this roundup of the best online drone schools around.

Some have paid options, and others offer free materials.

You can advance your knowledge of Part 107 drone laws so you can obtain your commercial certificate, learn to open your own drone business, or become a drone photography and videography master.  

Many of these courses come from Droneblog’s own recommended online training list, giving you great options for mastering drones.

Let’s take a peek, as I’m sure you’re as eager as I am.

1. Pilot Institute #

How about beginning with one of my absolute faves, Pilot Institute? Don’t only take my word for it; this drone school has taught drone pilots that later went on to secure gigs with Zillow, Disney, Tesla, Verizon, and Apple.

That’s saying plenty.

Pilot Institute has a good combination of free and paid course materials, with lots of classes catered toward beginners available for free. It’s no wonder more than 24,000 students have ranked the course five stars out of five.

**» MORE: **Pilot Institute Part – 107 Commercial Drone License Course

Available courses          #

Here’s an overview of the courses you can select from if you enroll at Pilot Institute.

Course NameCourse DescriptionCourse CostDrone Deep DivesPilot Institute has many deep dives if you’re considering buying a drone. You can learn about Parrot, DJI, or Autel drones before purchasing. If you already own these drones, you can easily master their operation through these courses.  Free (Except the DJI Matrice 300 Deep Dive for $49)Ultimate Drone Pilot GuideThis course includes 70+ minutes of video materials that review how to earn cash from your drone, how commercial and recreational drone licenses differ, and how to register your drone.FreePart 107 Night Training CourseIf you need to fly at night for your drone work, you can’t miss this hour-long course, which goes over how to get after-dark clearance.FreeRecreational Flying Made EasyGrasp the basics of hobbyist drone flights with regulations broken down into two hours of lessons. You can even contact FAASTeam DronePro and FAA Certified Flight Instructors if you need further assistance.FreeNIST UAS Made EasyDesigned for public safety agencies, this course assists with drone standardization under the National Institute of Science and Technology.$49Public Safety COA Made EasyGet your certificate of authorization as a public safety professional with this course, which explains COAs and how to apply for one.FreeDRONERESPONDERS Part 107 and Public Safety COA CourseThis in-depth course for first responders is a collaborative effort between DRONERESPONDERS and Pilot Institute.$149The Cinematic Drone Footage PlaybookDrone cinematics are an amazing way to take your work from ordinary to extraordinary. Learn the right settings, cinematic techniques, and instructions in this course.FreeVisual Observer EssentialsServing as a visual observer is a major responsibility. Understand what’s expected of you when you take this course, which has an hour and a half of video instruction.$49Drone Flying 101With 1,850 students and counting, this two-hour video course for beginners goes over all the legalities of flying a drone. It also covers flight strategies, photography, and videography.$99Drone Maneuvers MasteryTake your basic drone knowledge and kick it up a notch with this course. Learn more than 50 moves to impress your friends, family, and clients.$99Part 107 Waivers Made EasyThe next time you need a waiver, you’ll be glad you took this course. Download more than 20 resources, with the sample waivers a standout.$149Real Estate Photo and VideoTaking drone photos and videos for real estate is not the same as standard photography and videography. Learn the differences in this helpful course.$149Drone Photo and Video MasterclassCombine two great Pilot Institute courses into one and you’ve got the Drone Photo and Video Masterclass. Study more than 10 hours of video lessons to improve your drone footage across the board.$149Drone Business Made EasyGet your drone business off the ground with pro-led instruction, avoiding mistakes we’ve all made so you can get on the road to profitability faster.$199Part 107 Commercial Drone License CourseThe granddaddy of them all, this course is a must if you have yet to pursue your Part 107 commercial drone license. It’s beginner-friendly and designed to help you pass the FAA knowledge exam the first time.$249

2. Drone Pilot Ground School #

Another great drone school to put on your shortlist is Drone Pilot Ground School, especially if you’re studying for your Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam and want to pass the first time around.

This course is overflowing with oodles of video lessons that cover more than 120 concepts the FAA could ask of you when you sit down to test for a commercial drone license. You’ll maybe get a sense of deja-vu (but in a good way) because you can take as many practice exams as you want before the real test.

I also love the Ready for Takeoff webinar the staff at Drone Pilot Ground School offer weekly over Zoom, as it’s a chance to cement your knowledge and clarify concepts you’re trying to master.

The lessons include text and video lessons that detail sectional charts, the National Airspace System, flying at night, basic drone operations, FAA drone rules, weather regulations, and airport rules.

I appreciate how the course comes with you anywhere you go. You don’t need an internet connection to access the materials, as you can send them to a tablet, phone, or computer (be it a laptop or a desktop).

**» MORE: **Drone Pilot Ground School – Is Worth It (Here’s Why)

Select from three pricing plans. Self-Study costs $299 and includes:

  • Unlimited materials access
  • Cram sheet
  • Practice quizzes
  • Lesson PDFs
  • Video lessons
  • One-on-one expert support via voice message and email

The Guided Study tier is more hands-on and costs $339. This adds:

  • A weekly live webinar with an FAA instructor
  • Phone access to an expert

The Guided Study + Flight Training for $525 leaves no stone unturned. You get all the support in the Guided Study plan and expert-led flight training to prepare you for all the rigors of commercial drone use.

3. Drone Launch Academy #

Why study at Drone Launch Academy? It offers a rich selection of courses (not only beginner Part 107 prep courses, although those are there too), has had thousands of happy customers, and has the five-star reviews to prove it.

You can be completely new to drones or a novice eager to gain more skills to advance your career, and you will still get something out of Drone Launch Academy. Its versatility is one of its strong suits.

Are you the type who likes to listen to podcasts? Aren’t we all these days! Well, Drone Launch Academy has a podcast full of supplemental knowledge you won’t want to miss.

**» MORE: **Drone Launch Academy – Part 107 Commercial Drone License Course

Available courses #

Are you thinking about enrolling in Drone Launch Academy? Good choice! Here are the courses you can take.

Course NameCourse DescriptionCourse CostNavigating The Power Distribution System With DronesAI has its place in drone operation, even if you’re a little reluctant to embrace it now. Learn the technology now before it becomes commonplace, and get ahead of your competitors.$99From Raw to Radiant: Color Grading Your Drone VideosLearn the art of color grading to avoid garish saturation. Instead, you’ll use subtlety to bring out the beauty of your environment.$79From Raw to Radiant: Color Grading Your Drone PhotosThe same great information from the above course is available for drone photographers.$59Maximizing Intelligent Flight Modes On DJI DronesDJI’s Intelligent Flight Modes are amazing as is. Now you can make them better by boosting their efficiency through this course.$49Search And Rescue: How To Find People With Your DroneSearch and rescue is one of the most important ways you can use a drone. This course goes deep into how to do it.  $79Utilizing AI In Your Drone BusinessAI has its place in drone operation, even if you’re a little reluctant to embrace it now. Learn the technology now before it becomes commonplace and get ahead of your competitors.$99How To Price Your Drone ServicesOne of the biggest challenges for new commercial pilots is pricing their services. This course breaks down market analysis, cost considerations, and competition to help you make bank.$49How To Take Project Progression ShotsIf you work in real estate or construction, you have to be ready to showcase building progress. This course is dedicated to helping you do it right.$79Establishing Your Digital PresenceDo you have an online portfolio? A social media page that gets a lot of hits? Now you need a website. Build a site and make it ready for clients in this informative class.$49Utilizing Nonverbal Communication In Your Drone BusinessSometimes, it’s what you don’t say that matters. Learn the value of nonverbal communication to strengthen your on-the-job skills.$49Organic Social Media Growth For Your Drone BusinessGrowing on social media will benefit your drone career, as you can attract more clients. This course tells you how to become a social media star organically.$49Intro To Drones In AgricultureAgriculture is a popular field for drone pilots to get into. Don’t miss this intro course if you’re considering this career path.$49Pro CoursesBecome a more proficient professional with classes like Drone Mapping And Modeling Pro, Solar Roof Inspection Pro, and more.Drone Mapping And Modeling Pro – $599 Drone Mapping And Modeling Fundamentals – $399 Solar Roof Inspection Pro – $99Drone Business MasteryBuild the drone business you’ve always wanted and get it off the ground with the full program called Drone Business Mastery.$1,595 for six coursesPowerful Online PresenceStop chasing down clients and let them come to you by creating a magnetic online presence. You’ll learn all the secrets in this course.$299DJI Mastery CoursesGet to know the Mavic Mini and Mini 2 drones from experts who have flown them tirelessly and are willing to share their knowledge.$49 eachHow To Get Airspace AuthorizationDon’t launch your drone without the proper authorization. This course ensures you always have the permissions you need.$49Google Ads For Drone BusinessesIf you’re not already using Google Ads to amplify your drone business, you might want to start. You’ll learn everything you need to know here.$399Drone Business Back OfficeNo one likes to talk about taxes or accounting as a drone pilot, but they’re considerations you must make as a pro. This course is designed to help.$299Landing Dream Drone ClientsDon’t let another great client slip through your fingers! This course has several instructors, each of whom shares nuggets of info you’ll find useful to build your client roster.$499FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Exam Prep CourseThe star of the show, this Part 107 prep course has a guarantee that if you don’t pass, you’ll get reimbursed your testing fees and the course cost.$199

4. Drone Pro Academy #

The numbers don’t lie – more than 15,000 people who have taken Drone Pro Academy’s bootcamp courses have passed the Part 107 commercial exam. That can’t be a coincidence!

The bootcamp provides lifetime access to some of the best FAA course materials you could ever get your hands on. There are three courses included: Part 107 Bootcamp, Part 107 Secrets Cheat Sheet, and Part 107 Practice Exam, for $197.

Better yet, this course is always on sale, so you can get it for less!

**» MORE: **Drone Pro Academy – 107 Commercial Drone License Course

You’ll learn the ropes with confidence across six modules.

  • Module 1 – The Rules: This module goes over basic FAA drone rules, including pre-flight checklists, flying at night, and whether you can fly your drone around a moving vehicle.
  • Module 2 – Crew Resource Management: Keep the crew afloat with courses on task management, crew roles, and stress management.
  • Module 3 – Aircraft Performance: Get to know how center of gravity, weight, and load factor affect a drone’s performance.
  • Module 4 – Weather: From TAFs to METARs and everything in between, become a weather master in this helpful module.
  • Module 5 – Airspace/VFR Charts: Get to know MSL and AGL towers, TFRs, NOTAMs, and airspace regulations, including how to map them in 3D, in the fifth module from Drone Pro Academy.
  • Module 6 – Practice Exam and Final Remarks: Put your knowledge to the test with a Part 107 practice exam.

5. Altitude University #

How does mastering drone photography and videography in two weeks sound? Altitude University makes it possible.

Its 14-Day Challenge gives you a new lesson every day so you can continue building on your skills little by little.

**» MORE: **Altitude University – Part 107 Commercial Drone License Course

Let’s break down what’s included!

  • Day 1: The Equipment – On the first day, you’ll think long and hard about your equipment, including which drone you buy based on the camera and the resulting videography and photography capabilities. If you’re contemplating an upgrade, there are considerations for you, too!
  • Day 2: Drone Camera Settings – Drone image and video quality are as much about camera quality as it is the settings you select. This module reviews frame rates, aperture, and ISO so you can avoid overblown photos with too much color and not enough detail.
  • Day 3: Rules and Regulations – You can’t fly your drone for professional photography and videography projects without understanding the FAA’s regulations. That’s what you’ll learn on the third day.
  • Day 4: Flight Drills – Sharpen those drone skills on the fourth day by practicing one of 10 drills. They’re all catered toward beginners, so don’t worry if you’re new!
  • Day 5: Aerial Photography – Master hyperlapse, HDR, manual mode flights, and lighting on the fifth day, and watch how your drone photography improves.
  • Day 6: Aerial Videography – On Day Six, it’s time to turn your focus to cinematics. Learn the best video settings for your drone, including gimbal settings, and get pointers on slow-mo videos and HDR.
  • Day 7: Top Drone Apps – A drone app is a pilot’s best friend! The team at Altitude University recommend their favorites for entering restricted airspace (legally, with authorization, of course), mapping out flights, and more.
  • Day 8: Intro to Photo Editing – Make the most of your time in post with this module. You’ll learn how to send your HDR images straight into Adobe Lightroom, then edit them. You can also get your hands on some exclusive presets.
  • Day 9: Intro to Video Editing – Become a video-editing guru with software recommendations, editing tips for faster work, and keyboard shortcuts. You can even enjoy Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve walkthroughs.
  • Day 10: Professional Editing Walkthrough – Now you’re ready for pro-level editing, including a comparison of tools, when to use SSD versus hard drives, the best exporting settings, how to use sounds and music without violating copyright, and more editing pointers.
  • Day 11: Building A Portfolio – Once you’ve acquired great drone footage, it’s time to share it with the world. If your portfolio is a virtual mishmash, this module helps you focus on subjects and topics for a clearer-cut example of your work.
  • Day 12: Social Media Distribution – Eager to become a social media star with your drone? This lesson will teach you how to make an impact, including a slew of strategies for when and how to distribute your content across platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
  • Day 13: Pricing Your Services – Get down to the nitty-gritty on pricing, with payment processing software recommendations and email invoicing templates to borrow from.
  • Day 14: Marketing Yourself – Continue to grow your drone services by putting your name out there. The strategies you learn here might make you rethink how you get clients.


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