We felt it would be a good time to describe what AUAV looks for in potential staff. We get a lot of job inquiries from candidates who have recently completed their RPAS training and fly a Phantom drone, but unfortunately that’s not really enough on its own for the sort of work we do.
AUAV is a little different from most drone operators, we focus on generating high-value data for our clients, not just aerial photography, so our staff usually have some qualifications or experience around survey, inspection, GIS or have worked in our client industries and understand their needs.
Core skills for our UAV Operators
We don’t expect people to have all these skills, but the more boxes ticked the better:
- Technical skills: problem solving, ability to quickly self-train on new equipment and software. Experience dealing with digital imagery in various ways. Some scripting or coding ability is a bonus, but not required.
- The right mindset for details and procedures: there can be hundreds of steps involved in reliably delivering our projects, so it probably isn’t going to work out if you’re the kind of person who prefers to “just wing it”
- Strong sense of personal responsibility and self-motivation: given the amount of trust we place in our operators it is important that they’re the type of person who gets it done no matter what, and sees a hurdle as a puzzle to solve rather than an excuse to give up.
- Mix of team-player and lone-wolf: much of the time you’ll be working alone on project sites, which doesn’t suit people who need a lot of support or supervision. But we do also work closely as a team, helping each other out and learning quickly as a group, so it is important to communicate well and share the things you discover so we all win from them
- Data management: an average job produces a few gigs of data, and some jobs hundreds of gigs. You need to be able to deal with that kind of data in a reliable and efficient way, ensure it is never lost, and that it is processed and delivered quickly.
- Spatial skills: not necessarily a full GIS or Surveying degree, but it helps to know how to deal with spatial data, orient yourself around sites and confidently undertake flight planning around structures or complex terrain
- Outdoors skills: we don’t expect everyone to have soloed Everest, but a lot of our projects involve remote work. So even though your classic Alpha Geek type might be able to handle the flying and data processing really well, we can’t have them in the field if they can’t look after themselves in both normal and emergency situations. We also expect the type of people working for us enjoy a certain amount of travel rather than it being something they put up with. We get to see a lot of amazing things.
- Flying skills: it might surprise you to see this isn’t near the top of the list. It is certainly appreciated if people come pre-trained, but if you have the other skills covered then we’re most likely happy to train your basic skills to more advanced levels needed on the job. A degree of coordination and fine motor skills is definitely needed though, and if you don’t have at least some experience flying your own drones that does raise the question of why, if you want to work with them and they’re so affordable these days. Bonus points for any fixed-wing flying experience, as it is a large proportion of our work and tends to be a rarer skill. Bonus-bonus points if you’ve built your own fixed-wing drones, as we can have you assist with our builds too.
- Experience in our client industries is always a bonus, e.g:
- Civil Engineering and Construction
- Inspection and Asset Management
- Roads and Rail
- Energy and Renewables
- Quarries, mining, O+G
- Forestry and other natural resources
- Councils and larger planning agencies
Although at our current scale we are mostly looking for qualified people to get the field work done, as we grow we will of course increase the amount of specialisation in the company, likely splitting into field ops, data ops in the office, as well as dedicated project managers and bizdev people. So if you don’t tick many of the boxes for field ops above but you think you have something else to bring to the AUAV team, by all means get in touch, we’d love to have a chat.
- New regional managers: if you live in an area where there is likely demand for our services, we don’t already have someone nearby, and you feel confident in drumming up business in your local area, we’d love to hear from you.
- ‘BYO Project’: similar to the above, but if you are currently working for a client or project which would require significant drone data coverage, it might be possible for you to jump the fence to work with us supplying that service
- Software developers with drone skills: if you have written software for GIS/CAD/3D/WebGL/JS, etc and have a strong interest in drones, with some flying ability, we’re keen to hear from you as we can consider you for a dual dev/flying role
- Digital marketing whizzkid with drone skills: if you have training and a passion for digital marketing and social media, you will see how we aren’t doing the best job of that right now. We do a lot of amazing work and then mostly don’t tell anyone about it. If you also have drone skills and experience this could make for an interesting dual marketing/flying role, to do amazing things and then help us show the world what we’re up to
Personal Skills and Attitude
Regardless of whether you’re a field operator or project manager back in the office, we have the requirements that everyone in AUAV:
- Communicates well
- Conducts themselves in a friendly, professional and helpful manner
- Has a strong sense of self-motivation and responsibility
- Understands we are a small dynamic company which requires a lot from its staff, not a big business where you can coast along
AUAV is growing quite rapidly, so we are always on the lookout for talented people to join the team. Our recruiting is mostly project-driven though, so it may be that you’re a perfect fit but we’ll need to wait for a large project to land or another 6 months of growth before we can bring you on.
We are entirely self-funded from day 1, so we need to be careful with our spending on staff and all other aspects of the business. The upside of that is we’re still in business 6+ years later, after seeing most of our competitors fall by the way, so you know you are joining a more secure team if we can offer you a spot.
At AUAV you will get to see some amazing places and be constantly on the cutting edge of this exciting new industry as it grows. We would be lying if we said it was all fun, but we get through the the hard days together and it is incredibly rewarding to look back at the projects we have achieved and how quickly it is all moving.
If you think you would fit in well at AUAV, send your CV or a quick note describing yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org
And be sure to keep an eye out for any specific job postings on the AUAV Careers page