Aviation Maintenance
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Aviation Maintenance Technology Programs

PIA’s flagship program, the Aviation Maintenance Technology program, has led the industry in 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.

In accordance with our mission to provide exceptionally qualified aircraft technicians, PIA’s aviation maintenance programs are designed to not only meet, but exceed the minimum requirements outlined by 14 CFR Part 147 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

engine-pistonWhat Do Aviation Maintenance Technicians Do?

Aviation maintenance technicians will check and troubleshoot aircraft equipment on a regular basis, looking for parts that may need repaired or replaced. Some of the components you would work on include brakes, wheels, electrical systems and wings. During inspections, aviation maintenance technicians are required to use diagnostic procedures approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  They complete inspections, perform scheduled maintenance and make any necessary repairs according to FAA regulations. Many technicians specialize in preventive maintenance.  A day in the life of an aviation technician could include working on the items below.

  • Turbine Engines
  • Reciprocating Engines
  • Metallic Structures
  • Ignitions Systems
  • Hydraulics & Pneumatics
  • Composite Materials
  • Welding
  • And more

Visit our Career Services page to learn more about how a PIA education can prepare you for a successful career.

engine-turbineWhat Qualities Do you Need?

Detail-oriented.  Aviation mechanics and technicians need to adjust airplane parts to exact specifications. For example, they often use precision tools to tighten wheel bolts to an exact tension.

Dexterity.  Aviation mechanics and technicians must possess dexterity to coordinate the movement of their fingers and hands in order to grasp, manipulate or assemble parts.

Observational skills.  Aviation mechanics and technicians must recognize engine noises, read gauges and collect other information to determine whether an aircraft’s systems are working properly.

Troubleshooting skills.  Aviation mechanics and technicians diagnose complex problems, and they need to evaluate options to correct those problems.

AMT Program Options/Locations

AST Degree


Associate in Specialized Technology Degree
Length: 21 Months (7 – Three Month Terms)
Total Hours: 2,478

Course Outline:

Course Code and TitleCredit Hours
EN101 English Composition3.0
GS111 Blueprint Reading1.0
GS113 Safety & the Environment1.0
HI104 World History – Aviation3.0
MA102 Foundations of Mathematics4.0
PH117 Basic Physics4.0
PH119 Introduction to Electricity1.0
Course Code and TitleCredit Hours
EL125 Practical Electricity3.0
EL126 Electrical Systems3.0
GS127 Using Reference Materials2.0
MA106 Mathematics for Technology3.0
Course Code and TitleCredit Hours
EL135 Introduction to Electronics3.0
EN105 Technical Writing3.0
GS136 Introduction to Instruments & Controls2.0
GS137 Advanced Instruments & Controls3.0
Course Code and TitleCredit Hours
PP241 Introduction to Turbine Engines2.0
PP242 Turbine Engine Technology3.0
PP245 Introduction to Reciprocating Engines3.0
PP246 Reciprocating Engine Technology2.0
Course Code and TitleCredit Hours
AF253 Non-Metallic Structures1.0
AF255 Introduction to Metallic Structures2.0
AF256 Working with Metallic Structures3.0
AG251 Basic Systems Maintenance4.0
Course Code and TitleCredit Hours
AG266 Fuels & Fuel Systems2.0
EN208 Professional Communication1.0
PP265 Advanced Engine Overhaul2.0
PP267 Ignition Systems2.0
PP268 Propeller Systems2.0
PP269 Advanced Engine Maintenance1.0
Course Code and TitleCredit Hours
AF371 Working With Composite Materials2.0
AF373 Fluid-Powered Systems4.0
AF375 Welding Technology1.0
AG377 Advanced Aircraft Maintenance3.0


While entry level employment as an aircraft mechanic hinges on being an A&P certified aviation technician, today’s standard for being in a supervisory/managerial role usually requires the candidate to have a minimum of a 2 year degree from an accredited institution. PIA’s 21-month AST degree program in Pittsburgh allows individuals to satisfy this requirement in a single curriculum.

Campus Location(s):

Diploma / Certificate


Diploma or Certificate
Length: 16 Months (4 – Four Month Terms)
Total Hours: 1,900

Course Outline:

Course Code and TitleClock Hrs
MA2101 Aerospace Math35
PH2103 Aerospace Physics35
EL2105 Basic Electricity35
AG2107 Maintenance Practices45
MA2109 Aircraft Weight & Balance25
PH2111 Theory of Flight25
MA2113 Shop Related Math11
EL2115 Aircraft Electricity70
EL2117 Aircraft Electrical Systems60
EL2119 Electrical Power Systems I30
EL2120 Electrical Power Systems II18
EL2123 Advanced Electrical Theory34
EL2125 Diodes and Transistors36
EL2127 Special Application Circuits I15
Course Code and TitleClock Hrs
EL2228 Special Application Circuits II10
EL2229 Amplifiers32
EL2231 Operational Amps & Power Supplies32
EL2233 Oscillators and Pulse Circuits30
EL2235 Navigation & Communication Systems44
EL2237 Electrical Synthesis12
PP2241 Introduction to Turbine Engines42
PP2243 Turbine Engine Systems53
PP2245 Turbine Engine Maintenance49
PP2247 Introduction to Reciprocating Engines68
PP2249 Engine Principles47
PP2251 Fuel Metering Systems I55
Course Code and TitleClock Hrs
PP2352 Fuel Metering Systems II10
PP2355 Engine Overhaul73
MA2357 Boolean Algebra26
PP2359 Ignition Systems74
PP2361 Engine Troubleshooting39
PP2363 Aircraft Propellers67
MA2365 Powerplant Math16
PP2367 Powerplant Synthesis16
AF2371 Environmental Controls33
AF2373 Introduction to Metallurgy67
AF2375 Fluid Mechanics33
MA2377 Advanced Weight & Balance20
Course Code and TitleClock Hrs
AF2481 Nonmetallic Structures99
AF2483 Fuel Systems/Electrical Installations40
AF2485 Working with Sheet Metal92
AF2487 Welding Technology57
AF2489 Aircraft Inspections82
AF2491 Landing Gear Systems32
AF2493 Rigging and Assembly55
AF2495 Airframe Synthesis21


PIA’s AMT Diploma/Certificate program is designed to produce high quality aviation technicians in the shortest amount of time allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With 3 convenient locations and options for continuing education, this is the perfect program for many.

Campus Location(s):

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FAA Airframe & Powerplant Certification

ALL mechanical work done on aircraft must be inspected or supervised by an FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Certified Technician. Their work ensures the safety of millions of flight passengers every year.

The FAA requirements for eligibility for an airman’s mechanic certificate include the following:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Be able to read, speak, and understand English
  • Meet the experience or educational requirement

Once these criteria are met, a series of exams are completed to confirm the level of your knowledge. These tests are divided into 3 sections; General, Powerplant, and Airframe. In each of these sections, there is an oral, practical, and written examination.

At PIA, we take tremendous pride in ensuring you are prepared for these examinations. Prior to the completion of your final term, you will qualify to complete your General and either Powerplant or Airframe exams (depends on the order of your program). Upon the completion of your program, you will only have one section of exams remaining.faa-logo

The A&P is a very powerful weapon for a career in aviation.

-Rob Monahan, Air Methods

Dual Program Option

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For the past several decades, aviation employers have hired A&P certified technicians to maintain all aspects of an aircraft except for component level evaluation of avionics equipment. In turn, they would also employ licensed avionics technicians to ensure the advanced electronics of the aircraft are deemed airworthy. In an effort to increase efficiency, a majority of employers now actively seek out skilled technicians that are capable of doing both of these activities.

This is where PIA’s dual program option comes in!

PIA’s curriculum is designed for a graduate of one AST Degree program to be able to complete the second AST Degree program in an additional 12 months. Graduates that have completed both programs are often the first considered for employment by most employers.

Contact PIA’s Admissions Department for details.