A training program with 100 percent job placement? Minnesota has one


Promoters of job training programs may sometimes drone on about the wonderful opportunities their classes provide. But what field can use the magical phrase "100 percent job placement"?

Drone repair.

And right now the only U.S. college teaching students how to fix unmanned aircraft systems is a school in Thief River Falls.

Valley News Live visited Northland Community & Technical College, where instructor Thomas Biller said of drones: "A lot of people are going to want to fly them, but somebody is going to have to fix them when they come down broke, and that's where we come in."

Northland's two-semester program trains students to gain Federal Aviation Administration certification as a mechanic equipped to work on drones. Valley News reports starting salaries in the field are $80,000 or more.

Unmanned aircraft have been used by the military for years, but now it's commercial uses that are taking off. A recent Star Tribune article notes that researchers are making plans to use drones for firefighting, search and rescue missions, and farming.

A Massachusetts newspaper, the Berkshire Eagle, reported this week on a real estate company using a drone to capture aerial videos of a 27-acre luxury estate. What better way to give prospective buyers an overview of the equestrian center?

The Star Tribune notes that Northland worked with both Minnesota and North Dakota on their bids to be selected one of the FAA's test sites for new commercial uses of drones. North Dakota got the agency's nod, becoming one of six states that host such sites.

With uses for drones still emerging, job prospects for flying – and fixing – them are bright. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System recently forecast creation of 1,700 jobs in the state in the drone maintenance field, the Star Tribune says.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 6.26.50 PM

Minnesota nurse's story about her battle with COVID-19 goes viral

A month later, Ashley Walter is on a hard road to recovery.

Adam Thielen

Report: Still on COVID-19 list, Thielen not expected to play Sunday

Thielen was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list on Monday.

Image from iOS (19)

Mask-wearing, distancing a common sight on MOA's Black Friday

Thousands of shoppers were out and about on Black Friday despite the COVID-19 situation.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.