Monday, July 24, 2017

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics listed among top trade schools in Forbes

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics was recognized among the top schools fighting the nation’s skills gap in a list published last month by Forbes.

For the first time, Forbes put together a comprehensive ranking of two-year trade schools. Using the same “return on investment” focus as the annual top colleges report, the list of 30 looks at three critical data points: earnings, affordability and quality.

The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics was the No. 11 two-year trade school in the U.S. and is the top school on the list for technical trades.

The Forbes story led with commentary from “Dirty Jobs” and “Somebody’s Got to Do It” television personality Mike Rowe.

“I can think of nine magazines off the top of my head who every year will rank the top colleges. None of them ever include a trade school,” Rowe said while touting the benefits of choosing trade schools over academia, including affordable tuition and availability of jobs in the field.

There will only be 1,600 more aircraft mechanics and service technicians in 2024 than there were in 2014, but with more than 30,000 job openings over that time, schools like PIA are poised to hook students up with available and fine-paying jobs.

“We’ve had recent career fairs here in Pittsburgh and at each of our campuses in Hagerstown, Myrtle Beach (S.C.) and Youngstown (Ohio), and we are finding that more companies sign up to attend than we have graduating students,” said Steven Sabold, director of admissions for PIA.

“That we are hosting events with such a large number of companies in comparison to the number of upcoming graduates attending is a strong indicator of career demand. We look forward to the opportunity to serve new students and prepare them with the entry-level mechanic skills we know our employers are looking for,” said Suzanne Markle, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit PIA.

According to PIA career-services officials, employers are seeking A&P mechanics with strong soft skills, leadership qualities and dependability.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites a median salary for aircraft mechanics and service technicians at $60,270. Medians are not reflective of starting salaries.

Since 1929, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics has been training certified and work-ready aviation-maintenance technicians in high demand with programs in aviation maintenance technology and aviation electronics.

PIA’s flagship program, the aviation maintenance technology program, has been providing quality aircraft mechanics for more than 85 years. The program provides students with the opportunity to test for the Federal Aviation Administration airframe and powerplant certification, the “golden ticket” to a career in aviation maintenance.

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