Aviation Maintenance Program Overview

The training at Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) emphasizes hands-on learning through projects designed to prepare you for a career in the aviation industry.

PIA’s flagship program, the Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program, has led the industry in providing certificated aircraft mechanics for over 90 years. This program provides students with the opportunity to test for the FAA’s Airframe and Powerplant Certification, which opens doors to a valuable career in aviation maintenance.

Graduates of the aviation maintenance program have found careers in many sectors of the aviation industry including Commercial Aviation, Aircraft Manufacturing, Medical Transport, Space, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities, and more.

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

Aircraft maintenance technicians 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.

Aviation Maintenance
Technology (AMT)

21 Months – AST Degree


Pittsburgh Campus

16 Month – Diploma/Certificate


Hagerstown, Myrtle Beach & Youngstown Campuses

This program prepares students to take the FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Certification Exams


General knowledge training for aviation maintenance technicians includes basic electricity, aircraft drawings, ground operation and servicing, and other general knowledge subjects.

PIA’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for the FAA’s Airframe and Powerplant Certification.

The airframe curriculum for aviation maintenance technicians includes aircraft structure (wood, sheet metal and non-metallic structures), assembly, aircraft fuel systems, airframe inspection and other airframe system components.

PIA’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for the FAA’s Airframe and Powerplant Certification.

The powerplant curriculum for aviation maintenance technicians includes reciprocating and turbine engines, engine inspection, propellers, and other powerplant systems and components.

PIA’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for the FAA’s Airframe and Powerplant Certification.

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
PP241 Introduction to Turbine Engines 2.0
PP242 Turbine Engine Technology 3.0
PP245 Introduction to Reciprocating Engines 3.0
PP246 Reciprocating Engine Technology 2.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
AF253 Non-Metallic Structures 1.0
AF255 Introduction to Metallic Structures 2.0
AF256 Working with Metallic Structures 3.0
AG251 Basic Systems Maintenance 4.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
AG266 Fuels & Fuel Systems 2.0
EN208 Professional Communication 1.0
PP265 Advanced Engine Overhaul 2.0
PP267 Ignition Systems 2.0
PP268 Propeller Systems 2.0
PP269 Advanced Engine Maintenance 1.0
Course Code and Title Credit Hours
AF371 Working With Composite Materials 2.0
AF373 Fluid-Powered Systems 4.0
AF375 Welding Technology & Aircraft Rigging 1.0
AG377 Advanced Aircraft Maintenance 3.0


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.

PIA Campus Location(s):

Diploma / Certificate*


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

Course Outline:

Course Code and Title Clock Hrs
MA2101 Aerospace Math 35
PH2103 Aerospace Physics 35
EL2105 Basic Electricity 35
AG2107 Maintenance Practices 45
MA2109 Aircraft Weight & Balance 25
PH2111 Theory of Flight 25
MA2113 Shop Related Math 11
EL2115 Aircraft Electricity 70
EL2117 Aircraft Electrical Systems 60
EL2119 Electrical Power Systems I 30
EL2120 Electrical Power Systems II 18
EL2123 Advanced Electrical Theory 34
EL2125 Diodes and Transistors 36
EL2127 Special Application Circuits I 15
Course Code and Title Clock Hrs
EL2228 Special Application Circuits II 10
EL2229 Amplifiers 32
EL2231 Operational Amps & Power Supplies 32
EL2233 Oscillators and Pulse Circuits 30
EL2235 Navigation & Communication Systems 44
EL2237 Electrical Synthesis 12
PP2241 Introduction to Turbine Engines 42
PP2243 Turbine Engine Systems 53
PP2245 Turbine Engine Maintenance 49
PP2247 Introduction to Reciprocating Engines 68
PP2249 Engine Principles 47
PP2251 Fuel Metering Systems I 55
Course Code and Title Clock Hrs
PP2352 Fuel Metering Systems II 10
PP2355 Engine Overhaul 73
MA2357 Boolean Algebra 26
PP2359 Ignition Systems 74
PP2361 Engine Troubleshooting 39
PP2363 Aircraft Propellers 67
MA2365 Powerplant Math 16
PP2367 Powerplant Synthesis 16
AF2371 Environmental Controls 33
AF2373 Introduction to Metallurgy 67
AF2375 Fluid Mechanics 33
MA2377 Advanced Weight & Balance 20
Course Code and Title Clock Hrs
AF2481 Nonmetallic Structures 99
AF2483 Fuel Systems/Electrical Installations 40
AF2485 Working with Sheet Metal 92
AF2487 Welding Technology 57
AF2489 Aircraft Inspections 82
AF2491 Landing Gear Systems 32
AF2493 Rigging and Assembly 55
AF2495 Airframe Synthesis 21


PIA’s AMT Diploma/Certificate program is designed to produce high quality aviation technicians in a short amount of time. With 3 convenient locations and options for continuing education, this is the perfect program for many.

PIA Campus Location(s):

*The 16 month program is approved to award a diploma in MD & OH, and a certificate in SC.

  • Finding My Path

  • Hands-On Every Day

  • Learning from the Ground Up

  • My Passion Fulfilled

  • The Antidote for a Desk Job

  • Where I Belong

The Value of a 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 (depending on the order of your program). Upon the completion of your program, you will have one section of exams remaining.

The A&P is a very powerful weapon for a career in aviation.
-Rob Monahan, Air Methods


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 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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