Pittsburgh Campus, PA
Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT)
Aviation Electronics Technology (AET)
Employment: GE Aviation, Assembly & Test Technician
The path to the right career isn’t necessarily straightforward for every student. Brice Weyrich learned that finding the right industry for him took time and, most importantly, experience. His search for the perfect career ultimately brought him back to a childhood interest – aviation.
“Ever since I was a kid, I was always interested in aviation. Instead of collecting baseball cards, I collected airplane cards. They were pictures of airplanes with statistics on it…it listed the engines, where they were made, what year, how many. My favorite was the Blackhawk by Lockheed Martin.”
Weyrich attended a traditional four-year school after graduating high school but quickly found that he wasn’t interested in that type of education. “Out of high school I went to college and found out I wasn’t ready,” said Weyrich. He worked in retail before enlisting in the Marine Corps, and that gave him a foundation for a better career.
“I needed something to fall back on. If I decided to get out [of the Marines], I could have my education paid for. Going to PIA was something that just fell into place. I decided to pursue what I had always dreamed about and the career I had always wanted. I jumped on Google and searched for aviation mechanic schools. I really felt like this was where I belonged.”
According to Weyrich, there were challenges transitioning from Marine to student. “It can be difficult at times. PIA was a great support to me as a veteran. Financial Aid helped with anything I needed regarding my GI Bill. Everyone just wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to get through the program.”
Weyrich’s military experience was not aviation related, but by studying both the Aviation Maintenance and Aviation Electronics programs at PIA, he was able to get a full understanding of how an aircraft works. He is now certified to do mechanical and avionics-related repairs on all aspects of an aircraft, as he holds both his A&P and GROL certifications.
“I’ve seen a lot of people go through a two-year school and get out in the industry and make just as much money, if not more, than a four-year school graduate. I’m not shy to say I struggled in the four-year school environment, and here I am now building jet engines for the aviation industry. For me, this is the best school to have gotten my education at.”
PIA’s education gave Weyrich the opportunity to pursue his perfect career. Weyrich is working at GE aviation, where he currently builds engines for the Boeing 737 Max and the Airbus 320 Neo. “When I was searching for a career, I looked into as many opportunities as I could. For anyone that is interested in aviation, right now is a great time for anyone to get involved. There are so many different opportunities available that you can take within aviation, that can literally take you anywhere in the world.”