MiraCosta College Community Education and Workforce Development

Unmanned Systems ROV/Drone Operator Technician

at MiraCosta College

about the Unmanned Systems ROV/Drone Operator Technician Program

San Diego is a center for innovation and remote operated vehicles (ROV) are becoming the technology of choice for overwater, underwater, aerospace, retail delivery and agriculture industries. Our new 486-hour program will employ hands-on training using state-of-the-art technology. Upon course completion, students will be ready to take the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Drone Knowledge Test—the required exam needed to pass to get a Remote Pilot Certificate.


why attend miracosta?

  • Industry relevant curriculum using State-of-the-Art equipment

  • Job placement assistance, with over a 90% employment rate

  • Accelerated training that can get you into a job in less than 6 months

  • GI Bill ® approved, WIOA funding approved programs

GI Bill ® and WIOA funding approved. For all other candidates, tuition is FREE through the DOL funded America’s Promise Grant. NOTE: A $350 charge to cover administrative costs will be collected upon registration.

Course Length
Complete this program in just 21 weeks. Offered twice per year

Hours of Instruction
Monday-Thursday, 2:30pm-8:30pm
Please see the events calendar for dates.

HS Diploma or GED, basic math and reading comprehension assessments, and complete submission of enrollment documents

what you will learn

  • Industrial safety 
  • Electrical and specialty wiring 
  • Programmable controllers 
  • Machine design
  • PC base data acquisition and control 
  • GIS (geographic information systems)
  • Electrical and mechanical repair     
  • Introduction to submersible robotics
  • Introduction to ROV/drone careers 
  • ROV piloting 
  • Introduction to drones (UAVs)
  • Drone piloting
  • FAA licensing requirements and regulations
  • FAA exam prep
  • Career Exploration and Readiness

after course completion


If students attend all classes, complete the necessary coursework, and pass the required tests, students will receive: A National Career Readiness Certificate, and a MiraCosta College Certificate of Accomplishment.

Career Paths

There are numerous openings for ROV and/or Drone Operators and Technicians in San Diego County and throughout the U.S.! Companies such as: TE Connectivity, Seabotix, Subnet Services, Global Diving and Salvage, Technip FMC, Progressive Global Energy and Natural Resources, and AeroVironment have job openings.

meet your instructor

Desiree ”Desi” Ekstein

Desiree ”Desi” Ekstein is a FAA Certified Remote Pilot and owner of “On The Go Video.biz”. She has been self-employed for over 25 years and specifically working in the UAS industry for over 5 years doing videography and mapping projects. Desi previously was a flight instructor for California Baptist University. She is a flight and safety instructor for corporations implementing UAS operations into their fleet and she is actively involved with STEM education. She is a board member of Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and a FAA Safety Team representative for San Diego and Riverside. 

Mark Kosko

Mary Kosko is President and owner of M Kosko, Inc. established in 2016 to support industry and US Defense on unmanned undersea systems development and operation. Mark was previously a Sr. Program Manager with Boeing’s Advanced Technology Programs Group where he was responsible for design, integration, and fielding of autonomous systems. Mark has 30 years of combined experience in engineering and program management supporting a wide range of complex sea floor to space systems.

Jeff Simons

Jeff Simons served 26 years in Naval Special Operations.  He has hands-on experience in integrating AUVs, Marine Mammals, and Combat Divers in locating, identifying, and disposing of underwater sea mines.  Jeff has over 20 years of teaching experience in both the private and defense sectors, creating curriculum accredited by national universities.  Jeff is also active in the counter-terrorism, cyber, and unmanned systems industries, and participates is various local and national associations.  Jeff was the co-founder of the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Support The Enlisted Project, and USC MBV Board of Counselors. 

take the next step

We offer information sessions for many of our job training programs. The information session offers you the opportunity to learn all about the programs in a relaxed environment.
Our instructors will be available at this time to answer all of your questions. Call us at 760.795.6820 to register.

Schedule a Visit Request More Info View Upcoming Sessions