HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Prospective students of aviation and maintenance and electronics can “round out” their education under a new partnership agreement reached Friday between Hagerstown Community College and the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.
Under the arrangement those enrolled in the program may earn their technology certification through the Pittsburgh Institute while collecting credits from the community college toward an applied science degree.
Both schools cite figures showing that starting salaries for graduates of the program fall into the range of $34,000 a year to $48,000 a year, advancing to $63,000 a year with several years of experience.
Leading employers are Boeing, Bombardier, PAS Airlines, Republic Airways and Piedmont Airways. Graduates become proficient in aircraft repair with a market demand of nearly 200,000 technicians by the end of next decade. The industry reports that nearly one in three already in the field are near or at retirement.
Hagerstown Community College president, Dr. James Klauber, says this is an industrial sector “that is in very high demand.”
Suzanne Markle, CEO of the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics,, says her graduates land jobs and stable careers in a broad range of aviation fields “and move into major airline positions over time.”
Both Klauber and Markle point to a study which shows graduates of the program have successfully closed the “skills gap” from the time of enrollment until they earn their diplomas.