Avionics Program Overview

PIA’s Aviation Electronics Technology (AET), also known as avionics, program goes beyond the scope of just identifying and replacing faulty equipment. Graduates of our avionics program have advanced component level troubleshooting skills that can save employers a significant amount of money.

Since 1980, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics has been one of the select schools in the nation that offers a training program specifically designed for the repair and maintenance of the complex avionics systems that are utilized within an aircraft and throughout the aviation industry.

Aviation electronics technicians identify and repair issues with communications systems, navigation equipment, display screens and more.

Aviation technicians are in high demand due to the industry shortage caused by current technicians reaching retirement age and less people pursuing careers in technical trade. Those positions need to be filled by well trained, safety focused aviation technicians.

Avionics technician training at Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics provides you access to employment opportunities with a variety of duties and responsibilities.  As an aviation technician, you will be part of a team of technicians who make aircraft safe for passengers and crew. Are you ready to find your purpose at PIA?

Aviation Electronics
Technology (AET)

21 Months


Associate in Specialized Technology Degree

Pittsburgh Campus

This program prepares students for the
National Center for Aerospace &
Transportation Technologies (NCATT)
Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) Certification


General knowledge training for aviation electronics (avionics) technicians includes blueprint reading, electrical systems, practical electricity, electrical systems, and other general knowledge subjects.

PIA’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for the National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies, Aircraft Electronics Technician Certification (NCATT AET).

Then aviation electronics technology curriculum includes coursework in amplifiers, microprocessors, communications transceivers, navigation systems, microwave systems, radar equipment, and more.

PIA’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for the  National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies, Aircraft Electronics Technician Certification (NCATT AET).

The PIA Experience

PIA’s training programs allow students to complete hands-on projects that mirror the work of aviation technicians in the industry.

Skilled faculty members strive to present thorough and thoughtful instruction as they blend their practical experiences with new information and techniques.

PIA’s Career Services Department takes a hands-on approach to helping you launch your career. You will meet one-on-one with your career services coordinator on a regular basis. This focused attention allows you to receive the best tools for your success, such as:

  • Job Opportunities
  • Career Fairs
  • On-Campus Recruiting
  • Career Decision Assistance
  • Resume Writing
  • Interview Skills

Learn more about career services here.

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 Title Credit Hours
EN101 English Composition 3.0
GS111 Blueprint Reading 1.0
GS113 Safety & the Environment 1.0
HI104 World History – Aviation 3.0
MA102 Foundations of Mathematics 4.0
PH117 Basic Physics 4.0
PH119 Introduction to Electricity 1.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
EL125 Practical Electricity 3.0
EL126 Electrical Systems 3.0
GS127 Using Reference Materials 2.0
MA106 Mathematics for Technology 3.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
EL135 Introduction to Electronics 3.0
EN105 Technical Writing 3.0
GS136 Introduction to Instruments & Controls 2.0
GS137 Advanced Instruments & Controls 3.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
EL243 Diodes, Transistors, and Semiconductors 3.0
EL244 Applications of Amplifiers and Power Supplies 4.0
EL247 Electronic Techniques and Practices 3.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
EL252 Basic Digital Techniques 3.0
EL254 Advanced Digital Techniques 4.0
EL257 Introduction to Microprocessors 2.0
EL258 Digital Applications for Electronics 1.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
EL261 Advanced Radio Theory 2.0
EL262 Communications Transceivers 3.0
EL263 Navigation Systems 3.0
EL264 Individualized Audio & Entertainment Systems 1.0
EN208 Professional Communication 1.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
EL372 Avionics Shop Practices 1.0
EL374 Microwave Systems 4.0
EL376 Radar Surveillance and Weather Avoidance 2.0
EL378 Automatic Flight Control Systems 3.0

Campus Location(s):

  • Finding My Path

  • Hands-On Every Day

  • Learning from the Ground Up

  • My Passion Fulfilled

  • The Antidote for a Desk Job

  • Where I Belong

National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies (NCATT) Certification

The NCATT AET certification identifies the core knowledge of an Aircraft Electronics/Avionics technician that is common across the industry. This includes the military, air carrier, air cargo, repair stations, fixed-based operators, corporate flight departments, and manufacturers. The NCATT AET Certification demonstrates the knowledge base of an advanced aerospace technician and promotes integrity, safety, and professionalism in the aerospace workforce.

The National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies (NCATT), along with their industry partners, developed the Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) Standard and Certification to address the required skills within the Aircraft Electronics/Avionics career field.

Qualification for NCATT AET Exam including:

  • The ASTM NCATT AET certification examination is open to all individuals regardless of career field, training, education or experience.
  • Examinations are provided electronically.
  • Examinations are provided in English.

The NCATT is a requirement for PIA students in the AET Program effective January 1, 2023.

Effective January 1, 2022, the ASTM F46 Committee for Aerospace Personnel elected to impose a five (5) year certification period for all ASTM NCATT certifications.

FCC General Radiotelephone Operator License

A General Radiotelephone Operator’s License (GROL) is required to adjust, maintain, or internally repair FCC licensed radiotelephone transmitters in the aviation, maritime, and international fixed public radio services. It conveys all of the operating authority of the Marine Radio Operators Permit (MP). It is a valuable addition for a future in aviation electronics.

The GROL is optional for PIA students in the AET Program to obtain in addition to the NCATT.


Aviation Maintenance Technician

Aviation Electronics Technician

For the past several decades, aviation employers have hired licensed avionics technicians to ensure the advanced electronics of the aircraft are deemed airworthy. They would additionally employ A&P certified technicians to maintain all other aspects of an aircraft. 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 ticket option comes in!

PIA’s curriculum is designed to allow a graduate of one Associate of Specialized Technology (AST) Degree program (Pittsburgh Campus Only) to complete the other AST Degree program in an additional 12 months. You could graduate with aviation maintenance technician training and avionics technician training in less than 3 years. Graduates that have completed both programs are often the first considered for employment by most employers.

Contact PIA’s Admissions Department for details.

Recent PIA Employers


An admissions representative will contact you with more information about becoming an aviation technician.

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