Since the Workforce Institute at St. Petersburg College‘s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) – or drone training – program was established in December 2015, there have been over 360 enrollments in various drone classes. The program continues to expand. In fact, SPC partnered with The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in January 2019 to advance the unmanned systems and robotics community in the Tampa Bay area.

Upcoming UAS (Drone) training classes at SPC

In July 2016, FAA released new rules for non-hobbyist small unmanned aircraft (UAS) operations, Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.  These rules cover a broad spectrum of commercial uses for drones weighing less than 55 pounds, to include certification requirements for UAS pilots. In response to the FAA law, SPC is offering the following courses in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in April and May.

Six-week UAS Video Editing and Production Course

This course will be held on six consecutive Tuesdays, from April 23 – May 28, 2019, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the SPC Epicenter Campus, Room 306, 13805 58th St. N., in Clearwater, Fla. It will provide video professionals the introductory-level comprehensive skills they need to import, edit, and encode video projects using Final Cut Pro X. The course will also cover pre-production areas such as determining client needs, shot lists and storyboarding, as well as obtaining licenses, permits, and waivers prior to filming. Through instructor-led demonstrations and exercises, you will learn how to edit video, add video effects and titles and export your finished video.

drone traininng

Four-week UAS Remote Pilot (Drone) Certificate Prep Course

This course will be held on four consecutive Wednesdays from May 8 – 29, 2019, from 6-8:30 p.m., at the SPC Epicenter Campus, Room 314, 13805 58th St. N., in Clearwater, Fla. This four-week, non-degree course is designed to prepare students to pass the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate exam. The course will include UAS regulations, flight operations and restrictions, emergency procedures, crew resource management, radio communication procedures, aeronautical decision-making and judgement, and maintenance and pre-flight inspection procedures.

One-Day UAS (Drone) Overview Course

This class will meet on Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the SPC Gibbs Campus Library, room 212, located at 6605 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg. This one-day introductory course includes hands-on flight lessons for students, flight demonstrations and drone displays, FAA airspace regulations, appropriate use of drones, weather topics, and resources for drone operators.

drone training

Career opportunities for students with drone training include business/entrepreneurship, military drone pilot, firefighter, disaster relief, search and rescue, law enforcement, oil and gas operations, border patrol, agriculture, package delivery, forestry, engineering, computer science, real estate, film and photography, and other industries.


AUVSI is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics. The Tampa Satellite Chapter was established in January 2018 as part of the long-established AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter, and is focused on building awareness and dialogue about unmanned systems and robotics among the region’s defense, government, commercial, and education sectors. The group comes together to discuss legislative, industry, educational news, events and resources. Several members of the local chapter recently participated in a visit to the state capitol in Tallahassee and met with representatives to discuss laws that would allow law enforcement agencies to use UAS for public safety purposes, as well as autonomous vehicle legislation.

drone training
AUVSI members meet with Representative Susan Valdes (D-House District 62, Tampa) in March.

The AUVSI Tampa Satellite Chapter will be holding its next monthly membership meeting at the SPC Clearwater Campus’s Advanced Manufacturing Lab. The meeting is open to AUVSI members, current SPC students, and those interested in learning more about the college’s UAS and Advanced Manufacturing training programs.

  • Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
  • Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
  • Location: SPC Clearwater Campus, Advanced Manufacturing Lab (located in the CC Building, Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies), 2465 Drew St., Clearwater, FL 33765.
  • Agenda: The meeting will include a tour of the Advanced Manufacturing Lab and discussion of SPC courses that are offered. 

For more information on UAS (Drone) training courses, please contact Fred Tucker at 727-791-2409 or

For information on all other training, please visit SPC’s Workforce Institute page or contact us at (727) 341-4445 or