New numbers from the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) reveal that over 80 percent of all PIA graduates in the past 12 months have been hired, which is a much higher rate of employment than for graduates from the majority of U.S. colleges and universities.
According to a recent Monster survey reported by CBS News, nearly half of all 2020 grads say they are still looking for work. Meanwhile, PIA students who graduated between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, from the school’s four nationwide campuses are enjoying employment rates above 80 percent: Youngstown (81 percent), Pittsburgh (82 percent), Myrtle Beach (93 percent), and Hagerstown (95 percent).
Such strong employment rates for PIA graduates underscores the growing need for aviation mechanics throughout the aeronautics industry. Boeing projects 739,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed to fly and maintain the global fleet over the next 20 years, with 192,000 of those new mechanics needed in North America alone.
Several aviation employers, including Boeing, Endeavor Air, Mitsubishi Aircraft and Piedmont Airlines, are investing in partnerships with PIA that help introduce them to students as early as their point of enrollment. In addition, many top PIA students receive employment offers even before they graduate. This level of active participation from employers indicates that the competition to attract top talent in the aviation maintenance field will continue to drive interest and investment for many years to come.
“The aviation maintenance industry is in a period of generational turnover as many mechanics approach retirement age, which creates a huge number of employment opportunities for new technicians to enter the field,” says PIA President and CEO Suzanne Markle. “With a median salary of $66,680 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, aviation maintenance continues to be one of the most resilient and rewarding career choices for hands-on professionals.”
Above-average employment rates and robust career-long salaries are two reasons why PIA continues to be rated one of the top postsecondary schools in all of Pennsylvania. According to the most recent analysis by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce on the 40-year return on investment (ROI) of a college education, PIA has a better 40-year ROI than the median average ROI for all U.S. postsecondary schools.
With a 40-year ROI of $1,285,000, PIA outranks the $917,000 median average for all technology-related schools by over $260,000, according to a 2021 Georgetown report, including both two-year and four-year schools.
In addition, PIA’s 40-year ROI also outranks the $918,000 median average for all liberal arts institutions and the $913,000 median average for all four-year business and management schools. With several other PA technical schools also earning similar marks in Georgetown’s report, this indicates that technical school training for aviation maintenance and similar fields now measures very favorably against numerous other highly regarded professions for students who are seeking alternatives to a traditional four-year post-secondary path.