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Military Unmanned Vehicle (UV) Operations Specialists

Military Career

General Information


Unmanned vehicle operations specialists operate, maintain, and control the Military’s fleet of unmanned vehicles. These vehicles include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), aerial systems (UAS), ground vehicles (UGV), surface vehicles (USV), and underwater vehicles (UUV). The specialists control these vehicles to perform reconnaissance and strike missions. They also operate sensors for target detection, deploy ground and air systems, and perform basic maintenance on systems as needed. Personnel normally specialize by the type of vehicle they operate.

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Work Environment

Unmanned vehicle operations specialists work under a variety of conditions depending upon the type of vehicle and mission. Some specialists work in control stations or receiving stations on land, while others work aboard ships.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure
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Military Outlook

Service Branches

Jobs in this career field may be available in other service branches. Call or email a particular branch for more info.

Military Status

  • Enlisted
    • Hands-on/specialized
    • High school diploma required

Military Workforce

Unmanned Vehicle (UV) Operations Specialists in the Military


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Salary Information

Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location. Learn more about Military benefits.

$22,641 - $242,609

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Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Post-secondary certificate 31%
  • Associate's degree 29%
  • Bachelor's degree 10%
  • High school 9%
  • Some college 7%
  • Master's degree 5%
  • Doctoral degree 3%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%

Military training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training, which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field, and covers tactical and survival skills, physical training, military life and customs, and weapons training. Unmanned vehicle (UV) operations specialists in the Military will gain skills through classroom study and on-the-job experience. Job training varies depending on the position. Job-specific training content may include: Operation of unmanned vehiclesBasic preventative maintenanceUnmanned vehicle concepts and capabilitiesAdvanced technical and operational training in the aviation field Performing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance simulation missionsPreparing maps, charts, and intelligence reportsAnalyzing aerial photographs

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Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership


  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mechanical
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Design

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