PIA School for Aviation Maintenance will host a public career exploration event on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 11 a.m. at its Hagerstown, MD campus located at 14516 Pennsylvania Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

With skilled aviation mechanics in very high demand due to a nationwide labor shortage, the latest employment rates for Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics’ (PIA) Hagerstown Campus graduates is 89% with the top employers for the region including Boeing Washington, Spirit Airlines, Gulfstream, Republic Airways and CommuteAir.

In addition, starting salaries for these roles are also rising: PIA graduates now typically earn between $48,000 and $58,000 at their first industry jobs. The career median salary for 2023 has been reported to be $70,740 by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

These strong statistics in job placement and salary data reinforce industry forecasts that demand for new aviation maintenance and avionics technicians in the U.S. is growing fast, and it is expected to continue.

Young people’s attitudes toward the trades are changing. Recent reports suggest that nearly half of young adults — 47 percent — are interested in pursuing a career in the trades – reflecting an evolving attitude about high demand jobs which align with the priorities of a generation that values independence, skill-based employment, and opportunity for meaningful advancement.

According to Boeing’s 2023-2042 Pilot and Technician Outlook, 125,000 new mechanics and avionics pros will need to join the field over the next 20 years to meet the growing needs of the aviation industry in the United States. Many of these openings are due to upcoming retirements, as ATEC estimates 38% of current aviation mechanics are at least 60 years of age. If these retirees aren’t replaced, airlines will be forced to reduce the number of flights they operate.

New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects about 13,000 annual job openings for aviation maintenance and avionics positions over the next decade. Aspiring technicians can enter this rewarding career field while incurring significantly less student loan debt than a traditional four-year college.

By learning to inspect, repair, and maintain aircraft, aviation technicians learn a specialized skillset that is vital across many diverse fields including corporate aviation, commercial aviation, military, MRO, aircraft manufacturing, cargo, medical transport, drones, and aerospace.

“Many factors, including an aging aviation maintenance workforce and shortage of trained airframe and powerplant (A&P) technicians, have employers investing in recruiting serious candidates as early as pre-enrollment,” said Suzanne Markle, President and CEO of PIA. “Hands-on learners who love creative problem-solving and pride themselves on high-quality work find that the aviation maintenance field offers an incredible opportunity to have a long and rewarding career.”

In addition to connecting with aviation maintenance employers, attendees will tour the campus classrooms and hangar, learn about the 16-month program, view interactive demonstrations, meet faculty and interact with current students.


89% of eligible graduates from the PIA School for Aviation Maintenance in Hagerstown started working in the aviation industry or in a field utilizing their PIA education for the time period of August 2021 to April 2022.  The average PIA starting salary generally ranges between $48,739 and $58,011, while the industry median salary for 2023 was $70,740 according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  While PIA cannot guarantee employment, graduates receive one-on-one and ongoing placement assistance.


Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) is a non-profit, career-focused institution offering hands-on aviation training since 1929. Recognized by Forbes as the Top Two-Year Trade School in the nation in 2018, PIA is proudly accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Experienced faculty enhance instruction with real-world scenarios and guide students through hands-on projects endorsed by PIA’s industry partners. Through a wide range of student and graduate services, a nationwide industry network, and a reputation for producing exemplary technicians for nearly a century, PIA graduates have the tools they need to be successful in the exciting world of aviation maintenance. Students attending the main campus in West Mifflin, PA, pursue Associate in Specialized Technology degrees in Aviation Maintenance and/or Aviation Electronics Technology. PIA’s campuses in Youngstown, OH; Hagerstown, MD; and Myrtle Beach, SC, feature targeted Aviation Maintenance diploma and certificate programs. There is open enrollment through the year accompanied with admissions requirements. For more information, call 1-800-444-1440, or visit www.pia.edu.

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