Drones and the Future of Jobs

Drones have certainly caught many people’s attention, interest and imagination by now. As the world is surely going into the drones of things, so to speak, it is more likely new kinds of jobs will be in the offing, and we wonder, too, about the future of jobs that exist today.

Makers of drones are confident that the drone industry is set to create jobs. Commercial drones, which are expected to be approved for use in the US in 2015, will create 100,000 jobs in 10 years, adding $13.7 billion to the American economy, according to a new study.
The same study also expects that 90% of drone sales will be for agricultural purposes. A key assumption of the study is that US farmers will adopt unmanned aircraft at similar rates to Japanese farmers after the government allowed their use in the early 1990s. Read more about it here

What is interesting to note is the expectation that instead of farmers losing jobs, they will most likely have the skills to fly or maintain drones for farming. Likewise, in the field of manufacturing, there will be more jobs to be created for the maintenance of these aircrafts ( the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International dislike using the term ‘drone’).

In preparation for the expected rise of commericial drones in U.S. Airspace, some schools are now offering courses on drone technology. At least two Ohio schools — Sinclair Community College in Dayton and Kent State University — are training students for jobs using the technology.
Like the University of North Dakota, Kansas State University and others around the country, the Ohio schools aren’t waiting for the go-ahead to ready students for employment in the industry. “Our job is to be sure we are preparing the workforce to meet the jobs that are coming,” said Deb Norris, vice president of workforce development and corporate services at Sinclair.  Read more at

One scenario, however, could be the removal of some manufacturing jobs. A company in the Netherlands is envisioning a more practical use of drones. Qimarox, a manufacturer of material handling system components such as palletisers and vertical conveyors, thinks drones may be helpful in building pallets. “Because of the limitations in terms of capacity and ergonomics, using people to stack goods on pallets is no longer an option for most manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods,” says Jaco Hooijer, operational manager. “Using drones, they can fully automate the palletising process, while retaining the much greater level of flexibility and scalability entailed by using real people.” Read more here

Regardless of how useful, practical and reliable the use of drones will be in the future, it is hoped that these unmanned aircraft will not take away from humans one of their most meaningful enterprise, that is to have a source of livelihood.

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