Unmanned Aircraft Industry expected to Produce 70,000 New IT Jobs

March 15, 2013

Tech companies are keeping their budgets trim during a time of government budget cuts and general economic uncertainty, but there's one specific area where the market for IT jobs is booming – the aerospace industry.

Specifically, it's manufacturers of unmanned aircrafts who are expected to thrive in the years ahead, according to a new study by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Because unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are scheduled to become part of the U.S. national airspace system in 2015, a job explosion is in the forecast – 70,000 new positions within three years, and 100,000 by 2025.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for an industry developing technology that will benefit society as well as the economy," AUVSI president Michael Toscano said. "In recent years, unmanned aircraft technology has grown remarkably and is already proving useful in a range of domestic applications. Integrating UAS into the national airspace will lead to new and expanded uses, which means the creation of quality, high-paying American jobs."

It's surprising that this job growth comes at a time when the federal government is cutting spending across the board. Because of the specter of sequester that looms on the horizon, most new initiatives not unlike UAS expansion are being slashed. The Department of Defense alone is expected to cut $1 trillion over the next decade.

And yet unmanned aircrafts appear to be immune. In fact, they appear headed for a major expansion – AUVSI predicts the total economic impact of expanding UAS will surpass $13.6 billion within three years and keep going from there. Between 2015 and 2025, the projection is an $82.1 billion economic boost.

As for the jobs, they're expected to be portable positions, but gravitating toward U.S. states with favorable infrastructure for aircraft construction. The states can expect to enjoy massive gains through tax revenue – more than $482 million between 2015 and 2025.

"While we project more than 100,000 new jobs by 2025, states that create favorable regulatory and business environments for the industry and the technology will likely siphon jobs away from states that do not," said Darryl Jenkins, who authored the report.

These may be lean economic times, but the IT industry continues to plow ahead with new innovations and new jobs. The aircraft industry will play an integral role going forward.