Unmanned Vehicles

Now accepting applications for summer programs

Apply by May 17 to meet the priority deadline. Applications received after the deadline may still be considered if there is space available. 

Important things to know before applying:

  • Students must be logged in to their district account to submit an application
  • Applications take 15-20 minutes to complete
  • Students will be asked to provide contact information for themselves and a parent/guardian
  • Programs have age requirements, please review details before applying

Apply now

Unmanned vehicle operations includes photographing real estate, conducting building inspections, surveying land worldwide, engaging in military applications, filming movies, fertilizing crops, or providing support for search and rescue missions. Additionally, vehicle operation careers include underwater use. 

2 students flying a drone

The Unmanned Vehicle program includes two sections: above-water and below-water.

In the above-water portion, students can earn a recreational drone pilot's license while learning how to safely operate a UAV. Participants also gain insights into airspace classifications, weather patterns, safety procedures, airport communications and laws governing drone flight.

Students building an underwater ROV

In the second portion of the program, students will learn how to design, build, and operate unmanned vehicles underwater. Underwater ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) are utilized for inspection, photography, research, retrieving items and exploring areas not safe for humans.  

Summer 2024 Program Timeline

  • Application deadline: May 17 is the priority deadline. Applications received after the deadline may be considered if there is space. 
  • Program dates: June 24 - 28, July 1-2, and  July 8-11 (no class July 3-4)
  • Notification of selected applicants: early June
  • Location: Foss
  • Approximate hours to complete: 80
  • Graduation Credit: 0.5 elective credits 
  • Certification(s) offered: TRUST UAV License; Financial Literacy through EverFi
  • Completion stipend: $500 (upon successful completion of all program components)
  • Special considerations for this program: Accepting students currently in grades 9-12 or recent graduates
  • For additional information, please contact Jeff Klancke: jklanck@tacoma.k12.wa.us

Unmanned Vehicle Careers by the Numbers

  • Average Salary (as of 3/20/24): $68,813 source
  • Required Education: FAA 107 license for commercial flight
  • Job Outlook: This is hard to quantify since most drone careers are listed under other categories such as photography, videography, inspections, agriculture, etc. Here is a current summary outlining the industry outlook: source.
  • Current Job Postings: On indeed ROV Aerial 
  • What it's like to be a drone pilot: