02/06/18 10:39AM Gold Award, Military Friendly Schools, Veterans Training

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics Earns Gold Military Status, Among Top 20% in US

Veterans Training Programs,

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics has announced that it has earned Gold Award status, a designation awarded to schools that score within the top 20% of the nation’s Top Military Friendly Schools.

With a mission of making life better for veterans and their spouses by setting the standard for higher education institutions to provide positive opportunities, Victory Media, has released the 2018 Military Friendly® Schools list. Now in its 16th year, the Military Friendly® Schools list provides a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families using data sources from federal agencies, veteran students and proprietary survey information from participating organizations.

“It is both our honor and our obligation to help American soldiers acquire career-relevant skills and, in some cases, transition to civilian life. We are proud of our military friendly exclusively because it reflects our dedication to those who have served us in the defense of democracy and the freedoms we enjoy,” said Suzanne Markle, President and CEO of Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. For the first time, student survey data was taken into consideration for the designation

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

Victory Media’s Chief Product Officer Daniel Nichols stated, “Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to colleges creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to invest in programs to provide educational outcomes that are better for veterans.”

According to Boeing’s 2016 Current Market Outlook, the aviation industry will require more than 118,000 maintenance technicians by 2035 in North America. According to PIA Career Services officials, employers are seeking A&P mechanics with strong soft skills, leadership qualities and dependability - all skills required to grow and advance within a company. 

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 campus 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 over 85 years. This program provides students with the opportunity to test for the prestigious FAA’s Airframe and Powerplant Certification, the “golden ticket” to a career in aviation maintenance.


The school was opened by Glenn Curtiss and Orville Wright in 1927 as Curtiss-Wright Flying Service, and became PIA in 1929. Today, PIA is a non-profit, career-focused family of schools offering programs in Aviation Maintenance and Aviation Electronics.

The instructional staff combine real-world experience with classroom instruction, and a wide range of student and graduate services.  PIA’s Career Services team works individually with each student to reach their employment goals. PIA is often the first stop for many employers looking for quality employees. PIA offers an Associate in Specialized Technology Degree at its West Mifflin, PA, location and Diploma programs in Youngstown, OH, Hagerstown, MD, and Myrtle Beach, SC. 

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics was recognized among the top schools fighting the nation’s skills gap in a list published in 2017 by Forbes. The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics lands as the No. 11 Two-Year Trade School in the U.S. and is the top school on the list for technical trades. 

Niche rankings place Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in the #8 position among 619 trade schools in the United States for 2017 and #2 of 23 in Pennsylvania. Niche rankings are based on rigorous analysis of data and reviews. Additionally, in 2017, Zippia placed PIA among the top 10 best U.S. junior colleges for jobs based on a variety of score card data including emphasis on job placement results. 

PIA’s campuses in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Hagerstown and Myrtle Beach have been selected as four of approximately 40 aircraft maintenance schools to partner with D