SprayTech partners with Fullerton College in new apprenticeship program: Training the next generation of spray drone pilots!

“This is my dream job!” said Amanda Rosas, 26, after her first day working for SprayTech where she observed spray drones in action, helped manage the water hoses attached to the pump system, and took some drone video footage of the project. She even got a few minutes of flight time on the sticks of a spray drone under the guidance of a senior SprayTech drone pilot, Brad Smith.

Amanda loves to be outside and be active, and her favorite place to be is on a snowboard. She knew that a job behind a desk was not going to be the right career for her. She first became interested in drones while a student a Fullerton College where she became part of the Fullerton Drone Lab run by Jay Siedel, Professor/Director at Fullerton College (website for the program here.) She recently heard about this opportunity with SprayTech to gain on-the-job experience in the use of spray drones in cleaning. She beat out several other students for the opportunity to be SprayTech’s first drone pilot apprentice.

Amanda Rosas works with Brad Smith (senior SprayTech drone pilot) on a SprayTech job site, piloting one of the spray drones cleaning Dignity Health’s California Medical Center’s exterior facades and windows.

Amanda is the first apprentice drone pilot hired by SprayTech as part of our new partnership with the Drone Lab and Fullerton College. “Our hope is to bring in several more promising junior drone pilots over time and train them to operate our spray drones,” says Scott Northrop, CEO of SprayTech. This will help not only the aspiring pilots learn their craft, but also ensure that SprayTech has adequate pilots as we expand our business to other locations across the country.

While the Fullerton Drone Lab teaches the basics of drone piloting, including how to obtain a part 107 license, FAA regulations, and safe drone operations, the use of specialized heavy-lift drones requires additional training beyond what can be taught in the classroom. SprayTech’s apprenticeship program allows aspiring drone pilots to hone their skills on a real job site while working as part of a functioning crew. “It’s really a team effort on the job site,” Amanda says. “There is no time for drama.” Amanda is able to work with drone pilots with thousands of hours of experience while she is trained to fly the spray drones herself– invaluable hands-on experience to help her learn how to handle the inevitable challenges she will face when she is piloting by herself. While on the job site, Amanda saw how Brad handled the drone, while the rest of the crew managed the pump and hoses with solution and clean water used to clean the exterior facade and windows.

Amanda is a California native, born in Long Beach and grew up in Santa Fe Springs. After completing the drone program at Fullerton College, she now attends Cal State Long Beach where she hopes to graduate in 2025. “I’m excited to learn as much as I can on the job!” she states, and she says that it has been great to see the practical application of drones on a job site. She is excited to travel around Los Angeles county working on cleaning hospitals, hotels and commercial centers in the next few months.

Scott Northrop is just as excited as Amanda is to have started this apprenticeship program, and he is thrilled that SprayTech’s first apprentice is a female. “I think that females actually make better drone pilots. They tend to be calmer, more organized and harder working than male pilots, and they don’t let their emotions get in the way of doing a good job.” For her part, Amanda has enjoyed the “big brother energy” on the job site. While most window washing companies are owned and operated by men, SprayTech is proud to be majority woman owned and to be a welcoming employer for females.

For more information about Fullerton College’s Drone Lab program, contact Jay Seidel at jseidel@fullcol.edu. If you are interested in learning more about SprayTech’s commercial cleaning services please contact info@spraytech.com or call 1-844-SPRAYTECH.