United Airlines Expands Calibrate Technician Pathway Program

United Airlines Expands Calibrate Technician Pathway Program

DALLAS — United Airlines (UA) has expanded its Calibrate Technician Pathway program through a recent partnership with the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA).

Through this partnership, the companies aim to provide eligible PIA students with a direct path to employment at UA as aircraft maintenance technicians.

Additionally, both companies will collaborate to organize mentorship programs at UA’s 42 domestic technical operation stations, as well as host open houses and career fairs, providing students with various avenues for career advancement.

United Calibrate pathways. Image: United Airlines
United Calibrate pathways. Image: United Airlines

Calibrate Technician Pathway Program


Launched in October 2023, United’s Calibrate Technician Pathway program is a full-time paid apprenticeship that aims to foster a career pathway for aspiring aviation maintenance technicians.

Upon joining the program, apprentices receive practical training and guidance specific to their pathway, which includes ground service equipment maintenance, facility maintenance, and aircraft maintenance.

The program aims to recruit 300 students annually and will be available to current PIA students who meet its eligibility requirements. However, UA says that the students will be required to maintain a high GPS and a strong attendance record to remain in the hiring pool after graduation.

“Being selected for this partnership gives us great pride and enhances our confidence that our graduates stand among the best entry-level A&P technicians in the country,” said Suzanne Markle, President of PIA. “We are excited to facilitate United’s Calibrate Technician Pathway Program and its opportunities for students at all four PIA campuses.”

“We are delighted to have PIA as a partner in the Calibrate Technician Pathway Program,” said Simone Drakes, managing director of Calibrate at UA. “PIA’s commitment to student success and their shared values make them an ideal collaborator in building United’s pipeline of aviation technicians.”

The program aims to attract U.S. Army reservists and students from maintenance schools, providing a direct path to employment at UA. Photo: United Airlines

Addressing Aircraft Maintenance Demand


Furthermore, as a part of this program, UA has also established partnerships with the U.S. Army Reserve’s Aviation Command Unit, the National Aviation Academy in Clearwater, Florida, and the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, which has 15 campuses in the U.S.

With UA expected to take delivery of 800 new aircraft between 2023 and 2032, the carrier plans to hire approximately 7,000 technicians by 2026 to support its growing fleet. It has already hired more than 3,200 technicians domestically in the past 18 months.

The Calibrate Technician Pathway Program is in addition to the airline’s Calibrate Apprenticeship program, which also helps develop a pathway for maintenance technicians.


Featured image: A321neo United Airlines. Photo: United Airlines

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