Since 2016, when the FAA established the Part 107 rules and requirements for commercial drone operations, interest in and popularity of drones has continued to grow.
The FAA Part 107 rules and regulations can seem daunting. To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners.
The best drone courses for beginners are:
- Drone Pilot Ground School
- Pilot Institute
- Drone Pro Academy
- Altitude University
- Drone Launch Academy
We’ll provide you with more perspective on their history and credentials, course curriculum, presentation and delivery of content, and cost vs. value benefits.
Drone Pilot Ground School
Enroll in Drone Pilot Ground School, the industry’s #1 online test prep and training course, and pass your FAA drone exam on your first try — or your money back.
Founded in 2016 and operating in Nashville, Tennesse, the Drone Pilot Ground School saw the opportunity to help aspiring commercial UAS pilots.
Alan Perlman, the founder, created this online school to provide training to students from all over the United States and beyond.
Before starting Drone Launch Academy, Perlman founded UAV Coach with similar goals of helping drone pilots become proficient in overall commercial operations and safety when flying.
Perlman has focused on preparing pilots to pass the FAA Part 107 exam to obtain their certificate to operate drones for commercial purposes.
Perlman has hired only the most qualified instructors to lead the courses. Each instructor is Gold Seal Certified or has held prior Chief Pilot roles.
When you take a course from Drone Pilot Ground School, you can be sure that you are learning from the best.
The course material is delivered through over 70 individual online text and video lessons. The content is accessible when you have time to learn. The presentation of course material was created with busy schedules and flexibility in mind.
Beyond the initial education and preparation for the Part 107 exam, Drone Pilot Ground School provides lifetime access to the course content and tools to keep your knowledge fresh.
The FAA requires Part 107 pilots to renew their certificate every 24 months. Having access to the updated content to learn new rules and regulations creates long-term value for this course.
In addition to the core course material to prepare students to pass the Part 107 exam, Drone Pilot Ground School also provides bonus content for commercial operations such as starting a drone business, Real Estate marketing, and pricing drone services.
The bonus content includes basic flight proficiency training and information on insuring your drone and operations as a commercial pilot.
The Drone Pilot Ground School guarantees its course by offering your money back plus the cost of the Part 107 exam. Drone Pilot Ground School can stand behind this guarantee as they say 99 percent of the 45,000 enrolled students who report back pass the exam on their first try.
With their money-back guarantee and track record of successful pilots passing their Part 107 exams, we confidently recommend you look into this course for your drone pilot education needs.
All courses offered by Pilot Institute are taught by remote pilots, flight instructors, FAA commercial pilots, and other certified professionals.
As the name implies, the Pilot Institute offers more than just Part 107 exam preparation and drone pilot courses. You can also enroll in private pilot training and prep to receive your license to fly airplanes.
Let’s dive into their background and what they have to offer.
Pilot Institute, headquartered in Prescott, Arizona, was co-founded by Greg Reverdiau and Johann Beishline.
All courses are taught by FAA Certified report pilots, commercial pilots, and other certified flight instructors. Greg personally teaches the Part 107 prep course that we’re focusing on here.
The Pilot Institute’s team operates on four C’s, their pillars of success: Connected, Current, Capable, and Confident.
- Connected – Pilot Institute has created a great social media network that enables and encourages current and past students to help each other study, share ideas, and answer questions.
As a former student of the Pilot Institute, I can attest that these groups are vibrant and active and offer tons of support.
- Current – Greg and his team at Pilot Institute make regular updates to the courses, ensuring you always have the current rules and regulations from the FAA in their Part 107 course.
- Capable – Pilot Institute course sets you up for success in passing the Part 107 exam. It also prepares you to retain and recall the knowledge needed for Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM), a cornerstone concept for pilots.
- Confident – Pilot Institute students will feel confident in what they’ve learned about the rules, regulations, and their drone pilot skills.
Pilot Institute offers several courses covering drone flying skills and getting started with a commercial drone business.
Their Part 107 exam prep and training includes over 15 hours of video instruction led by Greg Reverdiau. Greg’s presentation of content and concepts is easy to understand and is put in practical terms for better comprehension.
All course content is available for a lifetime when purchased. Purchase of the course comes with bonus content and all the information needed to register for the exam, register your drones, and feel confident on test day.
Pilot Institute also has an available mobile app to help practice your knowledge with flashcards of common exam questions that you can use on the go.
The cost of this course and all the extras you get is a great value.
Throw in a money-back guarantee for your cost of the program, and a near 100% passing rate, as reported by Pilot Institute, and you really can’t go wrong choosing them.
As further incentive and reward for scoring high on the exam, PI gives students with a passing score of 90% or higher a free t-shirt with a printed logo. Score 100% and receive a free collared shirt with embroidered logo.
Training courses and overall value through additional content and resources from Pilot Institute make this option very attractive and worth a deeper look.
Drone Pro Academy
When you take the test, you’re protected under the Drone Pro Academy’s pass guarantee. If you fail your Part 107 test the first time, the academy will give you $160 to put towards retesting!
The business side of being a drone pilot clearly drives a lot of interest in programs offering FAA Part 107 exam preparation. There are more specific courses that Drone Pro Academy offers that may make this an ideal organization to learn from.
Drone Pro Academy was established by Chris Newman, a drone pilot with deep professional experience with over 20 years as a photographer and videographer.
Photography and videography are popular commercial pursuits for a drone pilot going into business. Chris delivers expert training in both of these fields.
Since founding Drone Pro Academy, Chris has shared his experience and background with over 12,000 students. Chris leverages his experience working with Fortune 500 clients such as Ford Motors, Monster Beverage, and McDonald’s.
Chris is also known in the film industry as the creator of a custom drone system built precisely for aerial cinematography. Check out his other project called CineChopper for more details.
Many of his students enroll in the FAA Part 107 Bootcamp.
The Bootcamp is broken down into 6 modules of focused topics. This course covers all the rules and regulations needed to feel confident in passing the Part 107 exam and also includes a 37-page book to supplement and reinforce recall of all the knowledge learned.
Lastly, the course has a practice exam based on over 100 Part 107 questions to help you prepare for exam day.
The breadth of courses offered by Drone Pro Academy is mainly geared toward cinematic piloting, photo and video shot capturing, and even editing your drone video.
If you’re planning to work in creative and cinematic drone jobs, you should look deeper into the Drone Pro Academy.
Aside from the courses offered, Chris provides a lot more to encourage support and community among drone pilots. Chris has a podcast series, sets time aside for Feedback Fridays to give critiques, and extends a 60% discount off Adobe Creative Cloud for new subscribers.
Does the Drone Pro Academy offer the best beginner course for you? If you want to be creative and pursue cinematic aspects with your commercial drone pilot operations, then your answer is yes.
The Online Part 107 Prep Course includes more than 120 lesson objectives. Practice exams with questions from real FAA tests are also invaluable.
The founder of Altitude University may well be the youngest of the course founders we’re covering, but don’t let that dissuade you.
In his mid-20s, Brandon Trentalange has helped over 3,000 students pass the Part 107 exam, and even helped individuals find work as drone pilots afterward.
Brandon’s offerings are much more focused than many of the other courses we’re reviewing, with only 2 courses currently available.
Brandon offers his Online Part 107 Prep Course and a 14-Day Drone Pilot PRO Course.
According to the Altitude University website, their students have a 99% success rate in passing the FAA Part 107 exam. This can be attributed to the structure of interactive coursework, flashcards, video and text content delivery, and quizzes to validate retention.
What makes all of the actual content even better is that it’s available for life, once you purchase the course. That includes 8 modules and 120 lessons focused on all you need to know to pass the exam and be knowledgeable about commercial drone operations.
The other course, 14-Day Drone Pilot PRO, delivers everything you need to know about drone videography. This course is designed as a two-week program with lessons covering equipment, camera settings, recording modes, and how to fly a drone for the best captures.
Beyond handling your drone, flying legally, and building your creative skills, the course also teaches you how to edit your videos and market yourself and your business to earn money doing it. It doesn’t end after the program is completed.
Supplemental content and training are also available from Altitude University and delivered as downloadable eBooks, guides, and tutorial videos that Chris releases weekly.
The tutorial videos are a great way to continue learning all the practical aspects of being a drone pilot, photographer, and videographer.
Brandon’s course is also offered at a reasonable rate of $97 per course and on the more affordable end of the spectrum. So, if you’re still wondering if this is the best course for you, the price to the content value of this offering may tip the scale.
Drone Launch Academy
To help you apply the knowledge you’ve gathered, you can take a practice test that has more than 200 questions. DLA culled those questions from real FAA exams.
Drone Launch Academy has a lot to offer in addition to their FAA Part 107 exam prep. If you want to learn more about operating drones for a living or master specific drones, this option may be a good fit.
The founder of Drone Launch Academy, David Young, is an FAA Private Pilot and Advanced Ground Instructor. His aeronautical knowledge is extensive, having graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology’s College of Aeronautics.
Young has assembled a great team of instructors with backgrounds in all relevant areas of drone aeronautics. Drone Launch Academy instructors are from fields including meteorology, photography, videography, surveying, and real estate.
Drone Launch Academy states that over 15,000 students have taken their Part 107 prep course, with over 99% passing on the first attempt. These are impressive numbers and provide the credibility students should be looking for.
Course content is mainly delivered as high-definition video lectures, available online through a desktop computer or mobile device, making learning on the go possible.
Additionally, the course offers a quiz with over 200 questions based on previous Part 107 exams.
Other supporting materials made available with the Drone Launch Academy course include a 75-page eBook study guide, flashcards, and an exam study guide audiobook. These additional tools are geared toward helping students study whenever and wherever they have time.
Beyond passing the Part 107 exam, Drone Launch Academy offers courses to help establish your drone business. The additional course topics include tips on developing your online presence, creating a digital marketing plan, and understanding how to successfully launch your business.
More course content made available by the Drone Launch Academy covers specific commercial drone applications. You can learn about real estate photography, roof inspections, mapping and modeling fundamentals, and other specific applications.
These course offerings can open up your options as you pursue your commercial drone business.
You will find tons of introductory content from the Drone Launch Academy instructors. You can find podcasts and YouTube videos to help you identify options to pursue further.
So, if you’re unsure where to focus, consider looking deeper into their programs.
The cost of the Drone Launch Academy’s Part 107 exam prep is on par with most other available options.
The other courses offered range from $49 for their Drones 101 program to $1595 for their Drone Business Mastery course.
The great value of their Part 107 exam prep course is clear. In addition to solid reviews from past students found online and supplemental materials provided, Drone Launch Academy’s course would be a safe choice for getting licensed as a drone pilot.
You will have undoubtedly realized there is a lot of overlap among these organizations that we’ve reviewed and consider to have the best drone courses for beginners.
The good thing is that they all guarantee that their FAA Part 107 exam prep courses will successfully prepare you to pass and get your certification.
I recommend looking deeper into their other offerings, which will take you from beginner to pro as you learn more and become a more skilled and experienced drone pilot.