Airlines Offer Signing Bonuses To Tech Students


Airlines are employing tactics used by professional sports teams to find and attract new talent for their businesses, according to a South Carolina technical college. While the pilot shortage tends to hog the headlines, an equally crippling deficit of maintenance techs is forcing airlines to be much more proactive in keeping their hangars humming, according to the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. “Employers are traveling to PIA to begin the recruiting process as early as first semester and even partnering to raise career awareness prior to enrollment which is indicative of high demand,” PIA’s Myrtle Beach Campus Director Peg Skalican said. “Once enrolled, employers are more frequently following students’ progress to graduation, and it’s becoming more common for a student to receive an employment offer prior to graduation contingent on successfully completing the federal exam often with signing bonuses ranging from $2,500 to as high as $18,000.”

The Myrtle Beach campus held a public open house last Saturday to attract potential students to its programs and a full slate of future employers were also on hand. The school said 97 percent of graduates of its 16-month A&P program got jobs in the industry last year. Endeavor Air, the regional subsidiary of Delta, conducted interviews with prospective students at the open house.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. As with pilots, aviation won’t happen without the maintenance folks to fix what we yoke operators manage to break. Eventually, we are going to need a system similar to what the military has to train pilots and mechanics. A system that actually pays the people to learn and grow in the skills needed. This will require various check points along the way to ease out those folks that won’t make well before a ton of money is invested in them. On the maintenance side, the military schools would be a superb formula to copy. No marching, etc, of course, but a touch, just a tad, of the discipline wouldn’t hurt at all. A little Sir and Ma’am discipline. Wouldn’t hurt the pilots much either.