Workforce Spotlight

PIA Students Can Reap the Benefits of Paid Tuition and a Job Offer Before Starting Classes

March 16, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor has identified aviation mechanics as a career with faster than average growth, and a driving factor is that retirements are not being offset by new employees entering the field.  According to the Boeing Technician Outlook, the aviation industry will require 626,000 new maintenance technicians globally through 2040, with 132,000 of those techs needed in North America alone.


To help bridge the gap and develop their own talent pipeline, Piedmont Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines, has launched a first of its kind tuition payment for Aviation Maintenance.  The program is unique as students receive conditional job offers before they even start school along with funding that covers the full cost of tuition, tools, and testing fees at Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA).


Ranked by Forbes as the #1 Top Two-Year Trade School for two consecutive years, PIA has been graduating top notch aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians since 1929.  With Piedmont providing funding as well as an up-front job offer, PIA hopes that qualifying students will feel free from the stress of student loan debt and employment uncertainty, and thus will be better able to focus on the training itself.


Up to five students can be chosen per term at participating locations and can be offered the opportunity to join the program after their application is reviewed. Students who fulfill the requirements of the program entirely will only be responsible for payment of their books and living expenses while attending school.


“The tuition payment program is an amazing opportunity that helps remove financial barriers for those interested in the aviation maintenance field,” said Jessica Weney, Senior Recruiter Maintenance Tech Ops. “Students will gain valuable hands-on experience and the educational foundation they need to become aircraft technicians at no cost, while allowing Piedmont the opportunity to work with students in the local communities we serve."


Interested students must interview with Piedmont to be accepted to one of the open spots.  Once accepted, the student makes a commitment to work at Piedmont for 2 years after graduation.


PIA’s admissions department works with Piedmont, as well as other carriers, on various student recruitment efforts including classroom presentations, open house participation, career fair involvement, and student & faculty field trips to airports and airline facilities.


“By sharing insights from both educators and employers with potential students, PIA and Piedmont have been working together for over a decade to demonstrate that a career in aviation maintenance is highly impactful and rewarding, and now the Piedmont Technician Tuition Program makes that career even more attainable,” says Roxanne Ober, Director of Admissions and Outreach at PIA.


For more information on PIA, visit, and see why PIA was ranked #1 on Forbes’ Top Two-Year Trade School listing - About PIA - Video.