How Drones Are Used in Professional Settings

What is a Drone?

Drones, also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), have taken the workforce by storm in recent years. With continuously advancing technical abilities, the workforce has begun to implement drones as a means of completing what was once a timely, costly and complex task quickly, efficiently and effectively.  

Drones can be defined as an aircraft without any human pilot, crew or passengers on board. Drones can be remotely manned with a ground-based controller or they can also fly autonomously using software systems.  

A Brief History of Drones

While the history of drones can be dated back to 1898 with Nikola Tesla’s radio-controlled boat, the first mainstream adoption of drones began in 1960 with the radio-controlled model plane.

However, drones didn’t enter the workforce until 1996 with the US predator drone that the United State military used in the search of Osama Bin Laden in the War in Afghanistan. 10 years later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the first commercial use drone.

Shortly after, drones began to frequently become more advanced with longer battery life as well as more technical capabilities like adding an attached camera and the ability to carry heavier objects. Additionally, the cost and size of drones decreased significantly allowing them to become widely adopted as both a hobby and professional tool.

Drones in Agriculture

The agriculture industry landscape has changed dramatically as advancements in technology have developed. With the adoption of drones into the workforce, the agriculture industry has been able to optimize its operational processes. From now collecting in-depth data to replacing manual labor with UAVs capable of handling physical tasks, drones have aided the industry in completing its goals while using fewer resources.

Drones can be used in social and field analysis to create 3-D maps for soil analysis throughout the planting processes and are even used for planning seed planting patterns. Additionally, UAVs are then used for planting which has decreased costs by 85% as well as crop spraying which is completed 5x as fast as traditional machinery. Additionally, UAVs allow farmers and ranchers to monitor their livestock for health issues, search for animals separated from their herd and

Drones in Law Enforcement

The adoption of drones has impacted several industries including law enforcement. Currently, many police departments across the country are currently using drones to protect and serve their communities.

For example, police departments are currently using UAVs to map the city in which they serve in order to create logistic plans for city events, determine high traffic areas for traffic management and plan for natural disaster evacuations as well as relief.

Additionally, police departments are also using drones for accident and crime prevention as well as evidence gathering. Drones can be used in a multitude of ways for police offers to determine threat levels and next steps in high-risk situations such as SWAT stand-offs, chasing suspects by identifying potential weapons and tracking suspects. UAVs are also used in search and rescue efforts as they can monitor hard-to-reach areas and report heat signatures when outfitted with thermal cameras.

Drones in STEM

While in other industries, drones are used to overcome obstacles and increase efficiency, UAVs play a unique role in STEM as they are used in educational settings as well as for research purposes.

In education, drones allow educators to engage students in a new and unique way. Not only can students learn how to fly drones in school, but they can also be introduced to programming with many courses helping students learn to code.

In the research sector, UAVs are used to gather data from inaccessible specimens, monitor climate change and endangered wildlife as well as inspect installations and projects for malfunctioning equipment.


As drones continue to advance and become more affordable, their impact on the workforce will continue to grow, creating safer environments, efficient processes and providing more insight.

Explore iCEV’s new drone curriculum and discover lessons such as Drone Theory & Design, Learn to Fly and UAS Remote Pilot Certification by clicking the button below.

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About the Author


McKenna Garrison joined the iCEV marketing team in 2022 as the Content Marketing Specialist. Originally from a small town on the Gulf of Mexico, Garrison attended Texas Tech University from which she graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations & Strategic Community and an M.A. in Mass Communication & Media Studies. Garrison looks forward to bringing more of a storytelling element to iCEV social media pages. She also hopes to connect other CTE educators from around the country to the incredible curricula and resources iCEV has to offer.