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Aviation Career & Technical Education High School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

Students can graduate with FAA certification; the school feels like a community

The Downside

Lopsided boy-girl ratio

Aviation High School combines career and technical education (CTE) training with rigorous academics in a spirited environment. Students have the opportunity to graduate with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate in either airframe or powerplant maintenance in addition to a high school diploma, making them eligible for well-paying jobs or prepared to move onto college right after high school.

The school is one of only five high schools across the nation that offer this sort of CTE program, and it is by far the largest. Students gain the FAA certifications by rotating through different shop courses, or labs, that help them foster technical skills through hands-on group work. These settings gives students the chance to be in leadership roles as the “foreman” of the class or “crew chief” of their small group.

Students learn about topics such as weight and balance and metal erosion; hands-on work is helpful for students who want to study engineering. In upper grades, students devote more time to shop courses, with seniors spending four periods a day in labs.

Students may apply to stay at Aviation for a fifth year to obtain both degrees and have the chance to attend the school’s annex at JFK International Airport. Since students are earning a federal certification, the program is fairly strict; lateness is not tolerated and absences must be made up. About 40 percent of students graduate with the FAA license.

Principal Steven Jackson said that the “academics are not secondary” at Aviation. In fact, the hands-on learning in labs often reinforces concepts studied in math and science classes, and the departments try to collaborate. He explained that classes typically involve group work and said that he hopes the school continues to encourage more “higher-level and analytical thinking.”

The school offers eight Advanced Placement courses, including calculus AB, chemistry, English literature and composition, and U.S. government and politics, as well as College Now courses that about 300 students take. However, because of the demanding hours required for the CTE program, the school has limited electives, which include art and music. The language program consists of just one year of Spanish.

The school feels like a community, and there is a sense of loyalty among students, teachers and alumni. This seems to be largely a result of the CTE program, which relies heavily on teamwork. One shop teacher in a class where students worked in pairs—one welding and one serving as the fire guard—explained that Aviation students really have to trust and rely on one another during labs. Another teacher noted that this also benefits students socially: The small group settings make even naturally shy kids comfortable participating in labs and working closely with others. Alumni stay involved and many even become teachers at the school. According to Jackson, there is low teacher turnover and principals also tend to stick around for many years because the school is “like a family.” He himself has worked at the school for several years, starting out as a social studies teacher before becoming assistant principal and then principal.

Aviation students go down a variety of paths after graduating. With the help of the school’s one full-time college counselor, many attend college. In the past, students have been admitted to SUNYs and CUNYs, as well as Cornell, West Point, and the Air Force and Naval Academies. The school has partnerships with a handful of colleges that grant students college credit for the airframe or powerplant courses they have completed. Other students go to work after they finish the program. Partnerships with companies including Delta and JetBlue, in addition to a strong alumni network, guide students throughout their job search.

Although the school days are long due to intensive shop classes, many students still make time for extracurriculars, including the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program (with many students holding leadership roles) and a range of clubs such as robotics, mock trial and moot court, drama and many PSAL sports.

About 21 percent of the students are female. A female senior told us that the number of female students has increased since she began. She said that the teachers “treat [the girls] the same, but the boys treat us delicate.”

Aviation students, many of them first-generation, are from all five boroughs, with some commuting from almost 2 hours away.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has a growing population of students with disabilities. There are both integrated co-teaching (ICT) and self-contained classes. Only a small number of students with disabilities graduate with FAA certification.

(Katharine Safter, June 2018)

School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
624 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20



Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Aerospace Engineering Technology

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

Designed for students who excel in math and science, this challenging academic and technical program will prepare students for engineering colleges and FAA aircraft maintenance certification. Students not meeting this criteria are encouraged to apply to Q60Q.

Aviation Maintenance Engineering Technology

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

Designed for students with an interest in math and science, this challenging academic and technical program will prepare students for the FAA aircraft maintenance certification and engineering colleges.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Calculus AB, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Calculus BC, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, AP Biology, AP Physics 1, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Statistics

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Golf

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


45-30 36th Street
Long Island City NY 11101

Trains: 7 Line to 33rd St-Rawson St

Buses: B24, Q32, Q39, Q60, Q67


Principal: Steven Jackson

Parent Coordinator: Noemi Rodriguez


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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