How Long Does it Take to Get a Drone License?

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Updated June 27, 2022

The best drones are so fun to fly that it can be tempting to break drone rules and fly above the maximum altitude allowed for hobbyists. This is especially true when the maximum achievable height that drones can fly at is higher than ever, and these devices are more accessible to people of all types.


  • It should take around 30 hours for you to study for the test to get your drone pilot license, and it should take a week for it to arrive once everything is finalized.
  • Online training can be beneficial on your journey for a remote pilot certificate, but going to a drone pilot ground school is even better.
  • On average, it takes about six months to complete the entire process.

Keep reading to find out how you can make the most out of your drone’s capabilities because today, we’ll answer the question, “How long does it take to get a drone license?”

Getting Yourself a Drone License

Proving that you’re ready to step outside of the world of recreational drones starts with learning the ropes. Taking courses at a drone pilot ground school is a great way to obtain your license.

For some recreational pilots, this is a point of aspiration. Luckily, it isn’t too hard to get your drone certification and enter the commercial drone industry.

How to Become a Commercial Drone Pilot

Getting that permanent certificate in the mail always makes a drone pilot’s day. Even receiving the temporary drone pilot license once all paperwork is cleared brings a huge sigh of relief.

Insider Tip

Starting a drone business can be lucrative, especially if you can connect with real estate agents in your area.

However, there are a few basic requirements you’ll need to achieve before you can enjoy operating your own commercial drone flights. Luckily, the barriers between you and your temporary certificate (and, finally, the permanent one) aren’t that intimidating.

The biggest problem is getting ready for the test and learning everything about drones to study for it. For example, knowing how much weight a drone can carry might come in handy.

Steps to Getting a Remote Pilot Certificate

There are a few steps when learning how to get a drone license. You’ll need a knowledge test report that proves you’ve passed your exam. It should only take around 30 hours of studying to pass the 60-question multiple-choice test.

Once you submit the test, the TSA will request a background check. Once that is complete, it will take about a week for your license to show up.

Now you’ll be able to use that license for commercial drone operation. If you need a drone for agriculture or farming and need help selecting one, try reading up on the top-rated drones for agriculture.

Tips to Pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Exam

Proving your drone flight proficiency will come with a trip to a testing center. You’ll have to pay the testing fee, as well. To avoid wasting your money, keep these tips in mind:

  • Take as many practice tests as you can.
  • See if an FAA-certificated flight instructor has time to tutor you.
  • Check into any online training you might be able to receive
  • Look online for study guides.
  • Take classes at a drone pilot ground school.

There are a ton of questions you’ll need to answer to pass. While you won’t have to worry about questions like how to bring a drone on a plane, some of the questions might surprise you if you aren’t prepared.


Drones used for recreational purposes cannot exceed an altitude of 400 feet above ground level.


Should I get drone insurance?

While it’s not a requirement to get that temporary certificate awarded to you, always seriously consider investing in drone insurance when using them for commercial purposes.

What can I do as a commercial pilot?

There are many jobs out there for those with a commercial drone license. For example, you can do real estate photography aerially through commercial operation.

Where can I find knowledge testing centers?

Look online to see where the nearest drone testing center is relative to you, as you’ll have to take many trips back to go through the recurrent knowledge testing process.

Why do they issue a temporary license to commercial drone operators?

The temporary certificate is issued to prove right away that you have received a commercial drone license. This allows you to get started immediately.

STAT: There are around 318,000 commercial drone registrations in the United States. (source)

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