JobsNOW: Careers take flight at aircraft maintenance school in Vienna

The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics is all about hands-on training

The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics ranked among top trade schools by Forbes.
Courtesy: PIA

VIENNA TWP, Ohio (WKBN) – Ready to get your career off the ground? Aviation maintenance and electronics technicians are in demand.

It can be a first career choice or a good way to start the second one. The training can be done right here in the Valley at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA).

Tim Schultz is a 19-year old Springfield High School graduate. He’s working in the hangar at Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, already starting to touch airplane parts. He started with a month of book work.

“I think it’s pretty cool. You can work on something that can fly 300 people in the air, long distances around the world,” Schultz said.

Students at the school are aircraft mechanics in training, working to get an FAA airframe and powerplant certification.  The so-called “golden ticket” to a career in aviation maintenance.

“They spend about half the time in the classroom, but they spend about half the time in the shop,” said Joe Deramo, PIA campus director. “I think our kind of student really enjoys working with their hands and being out here working on these aircraft.”

The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics is all about hands-on training.  It takes a lot of inspections, maintenance and repairs to ensure planes are safe in the air.

“They work on everything from landing gear to the structure of the plane, to the flight control systems to avionics, which is the electronics that run the plane,” Deramo said. “Whatever it is that goes wrong with the plane our students can fix it.”

PIA has a placement rate over 90-percent from the Vienna campus. Boeing did a study which said over 100,000 mechanics will be needed in the next 15 years. There’s an existing shortage, plus an aging workforce.

Tim Schultz didn’t have a big mechanical background, but he also didn’t want to take a lot of time for his training to get into the workforce.

“The deciding factor was that it is not a horrible long program. I was going to go to college for four years, but I decided to come here for 16 months and make more money,” Schultz said.


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