Sarah Nilsson JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah NilssonJD, PhD, MAS

The emerging UAS industry brings good news for job seekers. Hundreds of new job descriptions are being developed to meet the needs of this industry. And thousands of companies, ranging from your small start-ups to your seasoned corporations are hiring!


The following organizations have identified career/job opportunities or perceived growth associated with UAS in the air and/or space operational domains, including UAS, remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), optionally piloted aircraft (OPA), and uncrewed exo-atmospheric systems (e.g., X-37B, satellites, and space-borne probes).




Aeryon Labs Inc. 

Aevex Aerospace

Alion Science and Technology


Applied Research Associates

Asymmetric Technologies

Aurora Flight Sciences

Automotive Robotics Inc.

Autonomous Solutions


BAE Systems

Battlespace Flight Services



Booz Allen Hamilton

CDI Corporation


Crane Aerospace & Electronics


DCS Corp

Drone Dispatch

Drone Trades


Exactus Energy

Extreme Aerial Productions

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Fair Fleet

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems

General Dynamics

GE Energy Management


Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions

L-3 Harris



Liquid Robotics

Lockheed Martin

Marotta Controls

Modern Technology Solutions, Inc.

Momentum Aerospace Group

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

National Robotics Engineering Center


Northrop Grumman

Paradigm Precision



QinetiQ North America


Riverside Research


SDI Inc.

Sierra Nevada Corporation

SI Imaging Institute and Korea Aerospace Research Institute 

Sky Media 



Southwest Research Institute

Soaring Sky

System One

Teledyne Technologies Incorporated

Tellus Solutions

Tesla Motors


Thales Group

The John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory



US Department of Defense (DOD) (including US Air ForceArmy, and Naval Research Laboratories and DARPA)



Acquisition and Technology Lead/Analyst - management of business operations; development and submission of proposal; recruitment; and development of business


Aerodynamicist/Aerospace Engineer - development of design requirements; performance of design and analysis to meet performance goals; analyze performance; determine vehicle force and moment coefficients; establish flight envelope and diagrams; support, plan, and execute flight, wind tunnel, and ground testing; and evaluate mission profiles


Aerospace Systems Analyst/Interdisciplinary Engineer - collaboration with technical analysts, researchers, and translators; development and briefing of researching findings; and creation of marketing/proposal materials relating to pursuit of funding


Airframe Analyst/Airworthiness Engineer - development and negotiation of airworthiness plans, basis of certifications, means of compliance, and certification activities for total systems; design, fabricate, test, install, operate, maintain, and dispose of equipment; perform functional and process analysis; and confirmation that airworthiness requirements are met (including flight releases, type certification, and continued airworthiness)


Airframe and Powerplant/Maintenance Technician - performing complex aircraft inspections, repairs, and modifications with minimal supervision; work with requisite organizations to ensure compliance with internal and FAA inspection and documentation requirements; provide quality assurance inspection to ensure work meets quality standards and specifications; follow standard operating procedures when operating ground support equipment; coordinate aircraft movement in hangar and ramp areas; and provide training to less experienced technicians


Algorithm/Software Developer/Engineer - designing, developing, debugging, testing, configuring, deploying, and documenting system software solutions


Aviation/Flight Department/Operations Manager - reviewing reports and records to ascertain data required for planning department operations; monitoring and assessing all fueling and ground handling functions; ensuring personnel and equipment are available; maintaining effective relations with customers; providing input to budgetary process; investigating causes of accidents and recommending safety measures for preventing further occurrences; carrying out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws; ensuring disciplinary procedures are conducted in a fair, timely, and consistent manner; reporting all accidents and injuries and investigating ways to prevent reoccurrence; and ensuring personnel successfully complete applicable training programs; and confirming compliance with standards and policies


Avionics Technician - installation and troubleshooting of wiring and equipment in accordance with technical specifications and engineering instructions; fabrication, installation, and testing of installation, routing, clamping, and wiring harnesses; review of wiring diagrams and blueprint; supporting operating locations; perform maintenance, disassembly, rework, repair, replacement, re-assembly or adjustment of various systems; and perform analysis and evaluation of products and related performance; and troubleshoot and diagnose malfunctions to eliminate problem in minimum time


Business Developer/Development Specialist/Manager - execution of capture strategies/plans; stakeholder collaboration; identifying, cultivating, and securing business opportunities and relationships; and monitoring and evaluating the market


Communications/Radio Frequency Engineer - system architecture design; development and analysis of trade studies; specification development; requirement definition, allocation, and analysis; system modeling and simulation tool development, and providing support to hardware design, manufacturing, integration and test


Composite Technician - review and use of blueprints, diagrams, process sheets, and assembly and schematic drawings; providing instruction to team; analyzing and resolving work problems; configuring and operation of equipment for testing; inspection of product for defects and verification of specified tolerances; completion of appropriate production records, logs and other report forms; create estimates for task assignment; maintains work procedures to meet production schedules and recommends measures to improve production methods; and assumes responsible for observing all laws, regulations and other applicable obligations when business is conducted on behalf of the company


Computer Engineer/Scientist - development and review of software requirements, operational concepts, system interfaces, schedules, and resource estimates; implementing software architecture and design methods, computer languages, and operating systems to develop or improve computer systems, sensors, and application of software engineering tools and commercially off the shelf (COTS) software


Configuration Management Specialist - performing configuration management and release engineering tasks to ensure new product operating parameters are documented, comply with standard hardware configurations, and are logistically sustainable; designs, develops, automates, and maintains productivity tools using programming, database or scripting languages to improve software modeling and development; creates and implements build procedures used to support product development and use; develop enterprise-wide configuration standards; and train developers in the use of configuration management tools and implementation of quality standards


Contracts Manager - providing proposal support; managing cost proposal volumes; supporting fact-finding and negotiation; review and analysis of solicitations to understand requirements and advise Program Management of all relevant contract issues; ensuring proposals are fully responsive to prospective customer requirements; collaboration with International Trade Compliance to ensure program(s) adhere to all Export/Import requirements; oversee contract performance by monitoring budget, compliance documents, schedules, deliverables, and recommend actions to ensure mutually satisfactory performance; advise management of contractual rights and obligations; provide interpretation of terms and conditions; maintain official program records; and interface with senior management and customer counterparts


Contracts/Subcontracts/Procurement Specialist - preparation, review, and submission of applicable documentation; preparation of contract closeouts; responding to sources sought requests; requesting/conducting debriefs; maintaining databases; and issuing/updating job codes


Cost Account Manager - establishing, maintaining and expanding strong customer relationships with acquisition personnel, key-decision makers, end-mission users and influencers; disposition new opportunities, recommend pursuit strategies, and lead responses to related requests for information (RFIs), broad agency announcements (BAAs), and other pre-request for proposal (RFP) solicitations; generating pursuits with maximum probability of occurrence and competitiveness; identifying and exhibiting the discriminating value proposition to customers; and leading the development of initial approach for technical, cost, schedule and risk bid elements


Data/Operations Research Analyst - initiating and cultivating working relationships and agreements to leverage expertise of external stakeholders to meet research requirements; serve as subject matter expert (SME) on projects, programs, and activities; prepare formal documentation and presenting plans, results, responses and recommendations to a variety of audiences; collaborate and coordinate with other stakeholders within the uncrewed systems community


Drafter - developing mathematical calculations, preparing complete production drawings, and contributing design modifications to improve quality of product or facilitate manufacturing operations


Electrical/Electronics Specialist/Engineer - designing new or modifying existing products; developing technical specifications for production and test; analyzing hardware configuration and processing solutions; and testing hardware conformance to specifications


Electromechanical/Mechanical Specialist/Engineer - supporting and formulating technical responses and design solutions for structural, mechanical, crew, and ground support system challenges; documenting and communicating design solutions as part of a multi-disciplined team; interface with all disciplines on the team to generate optimized solutions; coordinate segments of a specific project and may have frequent inter-organization and customer contact on difficult technical issues; and troubleshoot, analyze, and repair systems utilizing standard engineering and scientific principles


Electronics Technician - assembly and testing of wiring harness, connectors, PCB, and mechanical components; diagnostics; review and implementation of wiring diagrams and engineering drawings; and development or maintenance of documentation


Engineering/Product/Project Manager - management of subsystems and other components for new production, spares, and depot repairs; coordination of program efforts with other departments and units to support on time delivery performance; provides tracking and expediting support for production of programs, including scheduling, cost and performance monitoring, bill-of-material support, and technical analysis reporting; managing the configuration of pre-production systems; development and management of program plans, Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), integrated master schedules, and budgets; leading technical staff in the  development and implementation of current, annual, and long-term technical, schedule, quality, business, and financial objectives for the projects


Field Technician/Specialist - applying applicable technical knowledge (e.g., mechanical, hydraulic, aeronautical, and/or electrical principles); supporting communication and interface among stakeholders; performance of duties at locations abroad, both with and without established procedures; performing a variety of nonstandard complex tasks; using advanced techniques of preventive and corrective maintenance; and conducting formal end-user training


Financial Analyst - preparation of financial materials; interpreting policies, procedures, and standard practices; responding to financial inquiries; collaborate with stakeholders to plan/budget work, track spending; identify expected profit margins; and review labor/procurement charging


Flight Controls/Guidance, Navigation and Control Specialist/Engineer - developing algorithms and tools; performing mathematical modeling; navigation and control system design and optimization; conducting flight data analysis; developing documentation and flight test plans; and providing flight test support


Flight Test/Test Engineer - test planning; evaluating test readiness; ensuring safety of flight and test operations; communicating planning, status and results of tests; overseeing and confirmation configuration for test; and conducting preliminary review and processing of specific test planning documents


Geospatial Specialist - requirement document staffing; review and development of requirements for geospatial data and products; provide GIS support for exercises, experiments studies, and other operational support analyses; and develop, implement and deliver GIS databases; and make recommendations for process/procedure improvements to streamline and improve quality and efficiency of GIS models and geospatial data management


Geospatial/Survey and Mapping Technician - confirmed completion of data updates; facilitating resolution of data quality issues; implementing geodatabase design and metadata standards; providing assistance with completion of geodatabase design documents, metadata, data models, and schema; maintaining knowledge of organization GIS priorities and support expanding use of spatial data to inform management decision-making; participating on collaborative project teams;  and providing technical support, as needed


Human Factors Specialist/Engineer - development and implementation of research methodologies and statistical analysis plans, test and evaluation of developmental prototypes, collaborative work with design engineers, and identification and analysis of technological problems and risks


Information Assurance Specialist/Engineer - ensuring compliance with any modifications, changes and updates to associated documentation, obtaining Certification and Accreditation (C&A) of developed system; and developing all required information assurance (IA) documentation


Information Technology/Computer/Information Systems Manager - providing tactical and strategic IT leadership and coordination for management of software, including configuration management, quality assurance, and tools; supporting strategy development, budget and cost management, proposal development, product/service acquisition and delivery, teaming relationships, and communication activities; ensuring expedient, cost effective delivery and customer satisfaction; collaboration with equivalent level managers and customer representatives concerning special projects, operational decisions, internal reviews, scheduling requirements, or contractual clarifications; and conducting briefings and technical meetings for internal and external representatives


Information Technology/Computer Support Specialist/System Administrator - interacting with users, evaluating vendor products, coordinating installation and backup recovery, and development and monitoring of policies and standards for allocation related to the use of computing resources


Instructor/Curriculum/Training Developer/Specialist - development of course content, coordination of training-aid development, conducting training sessions, identifying criteria for evaluating effectiveness of training activities, establishing training schedules, administering examinations, and maintenance of certification records for trained personnel


Instructor Operator/Pilot - assessment of training scenarios, approaches, objective plans, tools, aids, curriculums and other training technologies; identifying best approaches to training; development and maintenance of knowledge bases; preparation of training material; and maintenance of currency in the area of expertise


Integration/Architectural/Systems Engineer - development of concepts of operation, product plans, and business; provide support for business development, proposals, and other deliverables; assume responsibility for system requirements management, documentation, and component selection and integration


Logistician/Logistics Development Specialist - reviewing and commenting on Logistics Management Information (LMI) summaries, Integrated Support Plans (ISP), and contract data requirement lists (CDRLs); developing and maintaining logistics and sustainment plans, packages, and schedules; and participating in depot planning activities


Logistics/Supply Chain/Purchasing Manager - developing and maintaining relationships with suppliers within the domain, relevant information to suppliers on a regular basis, fostering business relationships, and identifying and capturing critical performance metrics


Management/Strategic Planning Analyst - leading the capture and analysis of key performance metrics, delivering transparency into performance through regular status reporting, participating in and leading substantial research and analysis projects across operations, finance, product, and performance teams


Maintenance Coordinator - assuming responsibility for coordinating maintenance servicing, repairing and overhauling of subsystems (e.g. UA, ground control station [GCS], and ground data terminals [GDT]s) to ensure equipment is in good mechanical condition and safe for operation; coordinates schedules for maintenance and inspections; verifies approvals are in place to release vehicle for operation; and develops plans for hardware acquisition, coordinating with applicable stakeholders within and aligned with the organization


Manufacturing/Materials/Coordinator Planner - providing daily status and input to management; interfacing with program, production and engineering resources; supporting schedule changes and short range recovery planning activities using leveling techniques and planning factors to optimize performance; and taking action make, buy and/or Bill of Material (BOM) planning activities associated with related Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) transactions


Manufacturing/Process Engineer - troubleshooting of processes issues; development of documentation; design and evaluation of new/existing equipment, methods, specifications, and standards; and identifying and recommending new technologies to support business


Materials Specialist/Engineer - analysis, research, and development of materials and their related fabrication and application processes to develop and optimize materials for use in engineering design of and/or use, the identification and capture of metrics, conducting of capability assessment, updating materials specifications, and recommending corrective actions to address non-conformance or failures


Modeling and Simulation Specialist/Engineer - cooperative and collaborative work with multi-disciplinary teams, development of program documentation and project plans, performance of peer review, provide systems engineering support, conduct briefings, facilitate and coordinate communication between customer(s) and development teams, and support the integration, assessment, and revision of models and software elements


Operations Specialist/Analyst - supporting fire prevention activities and services throughout the operational area (airfield/facility); responding to other emergencies as necessary; coordinating with public emergency services; implementing wildlife control/dispersal/disposal methods; ensuring compliance with required training and maintenance of required certifications; observation of all laws, regulations, and other applicable obligations


Operator/Pilot - supporting planning, coordination and execution of missions/applications; operation of systems in accordance with established operating procedures; providing performance feedback to support improvement; providing technical advice and employment recommendations to customer; configuring equipment and sensor payloads to meet mission requirements; performance of limited data processing


Optical Engineer - design, integration, and testing applied to the development of complex optical hardware from conceptual design through fabrication and performance evaluation, development and maintenance of specifications, oversight of component fabrication, and performance of system alignment and testing


Planning and Documentation Specialist/Technical Writer/Editor - creation and maintenance of knowledge content for supported systems and software for use by technical support personnel and end users; responding to knowledge submissions and feedback to determine applicable and format of documentation change; and collaborating with subject matter experts to obtain technical information needed to create or maintain knowledge content


Production/Manufacturing/Assembly Supervisor/Manager - managing the planning, preparation, issue, control and coordination of production schedules and material requirements to ensure a controlled flow of materials; managing work in progress and material availability, and resolves complex problems to ensure projects are completed on schedule and within budget; recommends modifications to operating policies when needed; providing leadership and direction of daily activities of assigned staff; and performing analysis and processing of work orders, sales orders, purchase requisitions, and material transactions for disposition


Program/Project Scheduler/Analyst - coordination of subcontractor schedules, preparing customer deliverables, assisting with variance analysis, and supporting the uniform application of applicable procedures and standards


Program/Systems Analyst - coordination of integrated product teams (IPTs), development of schedules, review and administration of change requests (CRs), verification of system issue capture, management of system integration, and creation of applicable documentation and deliverables


Proposal Specialist - management and contribution towards development of proposal documentation; preparation and management of milestone schedules; decomposition of request for proposal (RFP)/request for information (RFI) requirements and development of requirements matrix; manage collaboration; assist management of proposal process


Propulsion Engineer - management of personnel, schedule, and budget; specification design and development; procurement of the engine installations; produce installation layouts, component designs, solid models, and drawings; prepare requisite data for airworthiness certification; review and validate propulsion installations and components through simulation, analysis, and test data interpretation; perform failure analysis, lead propulsion-related testing, analyze test data, identify issues, and document results in detailed test reports


Quality Analyst/Engineer - verification of requirements and performance of system inspection; providing subject matter expertise and guidance relating to policies, regulations, and guidelines to assure compliance; and supporting multidisciplinary teams to ensure that inspections, process control analyses or audits are conducted on a continuing basis


Reliability Engineer - performing reliability modeling and analysis, including prediction and assessment, trade studies, Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA); planning and management of Failure Reporting, Analysis and Corrective Action System (FRACAS); conducting Failure Review Boards (FRBs); and preparing/presenting status and findings to customers/stakeholders


Researcher/Research Scientist - review and dissemination of current literature; design, validation, and implementation of algorithms, data analysis, and/or theoretical techniques and methods; providing subject matter expertise to stakeholders and larger community; supporting multidisciplinary teams across the organization; ensuring compliance with standards and best practice guidelines; lead data research and analysis projects, providing oversight and plan corrections; and status project metrics to benchmark effectiveness and milestone achievement


Sensor Specialist/Engineer - supporting research and development projects, including nondestructive evaluation (NDE) systems and probe technologies, through concept development, design, prototype construction, and testing; identifying and development of advanced exteroceptive and/or proprioceptive sensor/sensing technology; evaluation experimental requirements in the design of advanced sensing systems; interfacing with customers; development of proposals and presentations; and field evaluation of developed technologies, including transfer of technology to external partners


Strategic Planning/Management Analyst - development, evaluation, and execution of long-range objectives and strategic plans; evaluate internal/external strategic alternatives; develop and approve new business models; establish research objectives; evaluate gap analysis and recommendations; monitor industry developments; lead acquisition, merger, and licensing opportunities; and conducts economic/strategic assessments


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