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  • Writer's pictureAllison Styffe

Spotlights: Windtechs, Mustangs, and $1 Million

CAREER: Windtech

Median salary: $56,230

Education needed: Postsecondary certificate / apprenticeship Job growth: 61% (much faster than average)

Say hello to the fastest growing career of 2021! Not only is it a promising career, it's one that helps contribute to a more promising future for our planet through the endeavor of renewable energy.

Wind turbine technicians (also known as windtechs) install, maintain, and repair devices that convert the wind's kinetic energy into electrical energy. The job involves performing routine maintenance on wind turbines; testing, troubleshooting, and replacing their various components; and collecting turbine data for research and analysis. Oh and did we mention that much of this is done at extreme heights? Thats right. To reach the mechanical equipment, workers must climb ladders—sometimes more than 260 feet tall—while wearing a fall protection harness and carrying tools. Once at the top windtechs work in the confined space of turbine called the nacelle. So if heights and small spaces thrill you rather than chill you, this could be a job for you!

While some wind turbine companies will hire high school graduates and conduct on-the-job training, others prefer to hire individuals who have completed an apprenticeship or those with technical education on their resume. Some postsecondary certification options in Oregon that could prepare you for a windtech career include:


COLLEGE: Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo

Location: San Luis Obisbo, CA

Tuition: $21,954

Size: Large (19,600)

Mascot: Musty the Mustang

California Polytechnic State University, more commonly known as Cal Poly, has a reputation for its exceptional hands-on learning environment. Undergraduate students can choose from almost 70 majors, with Cal Poly’s highly ranked engineering programs as the most popular choice. There are more than 80 state-of-the-art laboratories and 50 clubs dedicated specifically to the Cal Poly College of Engineering. The school offers excellent education in more areas than engineering alone, though; overall U.S. News has it ranked #3 among all universities in the Western U.S. The caliber of education offered at Cal Poly comes with a competitive admissions rate of 28%, but don't let that scare you — a couple of BEC students are headed there next fall, and you could be next!

Nestled along the California coast, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obisbo is a charming city known for its farmers markets, sunshine, and rolling hills. On the weekends, you can hike in the morning, surf in the afternoon, and stroll downtown in the evenings. During the week, enjoy the 6,000 acre Cal Poly campus, bustling with 20,000 students. Students can get involved with any of the 300 student organizations, including Rose Float, which allows students to conceptualize and create a float for the New Year’s Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. For student athletes, Cal Poly offers dozens of intramural and club sports, along with the nearly 20 Cal Poly Mustangs varsity teams, which compete in the NCAA Division I Big West and Great West conferences.


Amount: $10K-$1M

Deadline: June 27, 2021

Type: COVID-19 vaccine lottery

States across the country have been creating incentive programs to encourage citizens to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Oregon included. Introducing the Oregon Savings Plan "Take Your Shot" campaign. If you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 or are planning to, you have a chance to win one of thirty-six $10,000 scholarships, one of five $100,000 scholarships, or even the $1 million prize.

Oregonians 12 years old and up who have received at least a first dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are automatically entered to win through the state’s vaccine database. With the help of the Oregon Lottery, the Oregon Health Authority will draw names of winners for both cash and scholarship prizes on June 28, with names being announced on July 6.

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