mes to start you can apply to the apprentice program or take the star exam after 5 years of service and get full pay and benifits. mes's still get national pension, health, and a portion of journeyman pay. I worked non union for 4 years and then got in this way. they let me test in to the program and started at 3rd year. i'm not opposed to learning more. there is currently a year or two wait to start as a 1st year apprentice so if you have experience i would go mes route to start. even as an mes if you are laid off they will find another company for you. I have worked for the same company for 7years and you really have to be a hot mess to get laid off from the service department.