Unmanned Systems (Drone Technology) | Warren County Community College

Unmanned Systems (Drone Technology)


Get Tomorrow’s Career Today!

The unmanned systems industry is one of the fastest-growing, cutting edge technologies in today’s career market. Unmanned vehicles are used today in an ever-increasing number of industries such as agriculture, surveying, construction, mining, environmental analysis, delivery, insurance, videography and photography, search & rescue, and law enforcement.

Warren Community College is at the forefront of this emerging industry with a state-of-the-art
UAS laboratory and outdoor multi-function “Smith Drone Port” that includes take-off and landing pads, an accident reconstruction facility, and a drone racing course.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to get experience on aircraft and systems they normally wouldn’t have access to because of the cost,” said Dr. Will Austin, College President, College Air Boss, and AUVSI TOP, Level 3 pilot.

drone lab tech and student

“One of the most important aspects of the course is when students learn how to use a $500 drone to fulfill projects with the same results that others might need a $10,000 to $40,000 drone to accomplish, and that is the competitive advantage.”

Pathways To Credentials

We offer several options for students wishing to pursue this exciting profession.

drones it was to the 1990s


DEGREE PROGRAM: Associate In Applied Sciences – Unmanned Systems 


The Unmanned Systems Degree offers a 4-semester, 60-credit program that immerses the student in a comprehensive course of study.
The Unmanned Systems Degree features:
  • Two one-year certificate degrees in Drone Piloting and Drone Maintenance,
  • Individual courses that can lead to professional certifications:
    • AUVSI Trusted Operator Program: Certifications at Levels 1, 2 & 3 – the premier industry certification for pilots (UAS 109, UAS 106 & UAS 210),
    • Pix4D: Certification preparation through our Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry course (UAS 209),
    • ESRI: Certification preparation through our Introduction to GIS course (UAS 204),
    • FAA Part 107: Remote Pilot Certification preparation (UAS 105),
    • FAA Fundamentals of Instruction: FOI test preparation (UAS 109)
    • AUVSI TOP Remote Pilot Instructor: With FOI certification, you can pursue the Instructor Certification (UAS 210) – perfect for educators, don’t teach without it.


This is a 30-credit program designed to train students to become a commercial drone pilot. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to both pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test for a Remote Pilot certificate and gain the knowledge for flight proficiency in high traffic airways.

Courses include:

  • UAS Flight Simulation
  • National Air Space System
  • Aerodynamics
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • UAS Remote Sensing & Analysis
  • Advanced UAS Systems, Operations & Performance

Click here for the full program of study. All courses may be applied to the Associate in Applied Science in Unmanned Systems.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAM: Drone Repair and Maintenance

This 30-credit program is designed to prepare students to repair and maintain small (under 55 lbs.) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). The sUAS certificate will concentrate on the maintenance and repair of all system components including UAVs, ground control stations, battery maintenance, and understanding data links or communication/guidance systems that allow communication between vehicle and satellite networks.

Courses include:

  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • UAS Maintenance & Repair
  • Intro to DC & AC Circuits & Electronics
  • Advanced UAS Systems, Operations & Performance

Click here for the full program of study. All courses may be applied to the Associate in Applied Science in Unmanned Systems.

POWERPACK COURSE: Remote Pilot Operations 

Complete the UAS105 PowerPack this Spring and you will be ready to pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test for a Remote Pilot certificate. Students 16 years of age and older are eligible. You can audit the course or earn credits toward a college transcript.

Drone flights utilize Warren Community College’s lab equipment. You will acquire experience operating a series of unmanned flights in the National Airspace System (NAS) at the Smith Drone Port located at the Washington Campus.



Learn High Tech Skills

The UAS 209 Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing & Analyses course is about cutting edge technology used in search and rescue, crime scene preservation, accident reconstruction, construction site mapping, agricultural health assessment, precision agriculture, land surveying, real estate, and other large area mapping uses with drones; through programs such as Pix4D, Pix4DFields, Pix4DReact, and Loc8. UAS 209 requires prerequisite UAS 101 and corequisite UAS 202.

Photogrammetry is the use of photography in surveying, mapping, and modeling. It’s used to measure distances between objects, and photogrammetry software can utilize images to create 3D renderings. In Warren’s remote sensing and photogrammetry course, students can learn 3D modeling and mapping to help create large area maps and 3D models with the use of ground reference points to enhance accuracy at our one-of-a-kind flight training center.

Learn These Software Solutions In Our Advanced Classes

Faculty use these cutting edge software programs and unique aircraft such as Wingtra, Ebee X, Phantom RTK, Skydio 2 in the course to increase students’ marketability and awareness of the UAS capabilities used by industry.


In The News

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August 28, 2018WCCC Drone Lab & Droneport Dedicated to Smiths

February 23, 2020 – Homing in on drones published by Community College Daily “in February, WCCC became the first community college and the fourth institution of higher learning to obtain a Part 107.39 waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration to be able to fly drones over people. The two-year school joins Stanford University, University of Texas-El Paso, and the Regents of the University of California in gaining this status, which fewer than 100 organizations overall have earned…”

March 4, 2020 – WCCC First Community College to Get Drone Waiver. Only one of just 100 organizations to be so designated in the United States.

May 18, 2020Podcast of Unmanned Uncovered details how Dr. Will Austin and the students at Warren Community College are creating an environment that equips them with the resources they need to succeed within the drone industry and the forthcoming robotic revolution.

 February 6, 2021 – AUVSI Expands Elite Group of Training Providers.  TOP Providers are educational institutions and other groups who administer the program’s Protocol Certification Manual (PCM) to participants, and Warren’s induction into the small but elite group of training providers is a win for the UAS industry. Warren worked with faculty from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to update and prepare their curriculum for the TOP audit.


Warren County Community College
475 Route 57 West
Washington NJ 07882
(908) 835-WCCC (9222)