AA MESM vs AA WESM

Frcklfarm

Newbie
Hi all, I would be grateful for some input. I have a would-be AA MESM who has been informed they may have to become an AA WESM because that’s the way it is. Would-be submariner is concerned career path, salary benefits and out of service career options of WESM falls short of ME, any constructive thoughts or input is welcome. TIA
 
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RabC

MIA
Not SM but ex WEA, future employment prospects would be just as good for either branch. If he has his heart set on something nuclear related later in life then I can understand his thoughts, but if it’s just quality of post service employment then both offer great opportunities IMHO. I am sure promotion whilst in service would be the same unless things have drastically changed since I left. I am sure one of our resident MESM’s will be along shortly. @WreckerL
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
I would agree with RabC's comments in his first post but it is harder in the ME world mainly in more sea time and more duties when alongside. Being steam driven nuclear boats can be (and are) maintenance intensive which is why about 60% of the ships company are ME branch.
 

Stirlin

War Hero
I would agree with RabC's comments in his first post but it is harder in the ME world mainly in more sea time and more duties when alongside. Being steam driven nuclear boats can be (and are) maintenance intensive which is why about 60% of the ships company are ME branch.
Every day is a school day.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Yup same thoughts as well, so well over that number are engineers, no one ever told me that when trying to get me to go sundodger. Minimal dabber interference would have been a big plus.
If you were to go into a nuke boat SR mess non-engineering branch personnel are in the minority.
 

Drakey

War Hero
AA(SM)s know when they join that the specialisation they end up in may not be the one of their preference or choosing. LIABS...⚓
 

Merman

Midshipman
I think the MESM branch certainly has greater career earnings however the wesm isn't too far behind. I'm pretty sure if you look at ratio of workload to pay the wesm is the best option. The mesms certainly envy the wesms during the maintenance period but would never swap .
If its hands on type work and WESM is the only option then TWS would be the route to go. Sws I don't really see much in the way of hands going on. All engineering is pretty procedural but sws takes it to another level. There's no working on your own or using your own initiative. It's all line by line step by step.
 

Frcklfarm

Newbie
AA(SM)s know when they join that the specialisation they end up in may not be the one of their preference or choosing. LIABS...⚓
Indeed they do. However, eight years not doing what you wanted to do when you have no way to influence that decision will seem like a long time to a young person. I’m definitely looking for positives, recruits are unable to visit submarines at PRNC, have access to mentors at Raleigh and I think subsequent training is slightly restricted thanks to Corona.
 

Frcklfarm

Newbie
I think the MESM branch certainly has greater career earnings however the wesm isn't too far behind. I'm pretty sure if you look at ratio of workload to pay the wesm is the best option. The mesms certainly envy the wesms during the maintenance period but would never swap .
If its hands on type work and WESM is the only option then TWS would be the route to go. Sws I don't really see much in the way of hands going on. All engineering is pretty procedural but sws takes it to another level. There's no working on your own or using your own initiative. It's all line by line step by step.
I think that is partly the problem, recruitment ads and the process itself may lead you to believe you to consider there are opportunities for a certain type of career then the reality will be significantly different. It’s not just the financial aspect but the opportunity to develop skills, especially with additional courses available to ME. Thanks for your input.
 

Frcklfarm

Newbie
Yup same thoughts as well, so well over that number are engineers, no one ever told me that when trying to get me to go sundodger. Minimal dabber interference would have been a big plus.
I’m trying to decipher. Does this mean as an WE you are constantly overseen whilst working, not trusted to do your job properly?
 

Merman

Midshipman
Tws will be allowed and frequently are allowed to go free range. The SWS never just do a job. It's always a big procedure, everyone has to know the sws are actually working and it's line by line through a, pre written document. MESM can be the same but you're handed the procedure and then go do it yourself
 

RabC

MIA
I’m trying to decipher. Does this mean as an WE you are constantly overseen whilst working, not trusted to do your job properly?
No it means that we were outnumbered by the pond life that kept breaking our equipment or more often reporting it as defective when it was actually operator error.
 

Frcklfarm

Newbie
AA(SM)s know when they join that the specialisation they end up in may not be the one of their preference or choosing. LIABS...⚓
Agree, and sometimes you don’t have the sense to know life can be doing you a really bigfavour, took a moment or two to work out LIABS!
 

Sumo

War Hero
I’m trying to decipher. Does this mean as an WE you are constantly overseen whilst working, not trusted to do your job properly?
You will have a section lead, who will expect you to be up and usefu as soon as possible, otherwise he gets called out when he is off watch.
Both ME and WE are good jobs, depends what you want.
Good luck
 

perrym

Midshipman
Good evening,

All AA(SM)'s (& UGAS (SM)) join as generic P/LET's and are streamed during SMQ, approx 15 weeks after joining up. This is not hidden from potential recruits, as all AFCO's and CA's are aware of this fact, all that is asked is that the potential recruits state their preference during their interviews.

The streaming is not "just the way it is", consideration is given to what qualifications, work background and preference the individual has, obviously the needs of the service do come 1st, but where ever possible the individual gets their choice. In most cases all AA(SM)/ UGAS recruits are spoken to as a group during SMQ by SR WESM/MESMs to give them the best information about the roles to help them make informed decisions. Only a very small number have not been given their choice. That small number are now actually happy in the stream that they were allocated.

Unfortunately, there is a common thought amongst potential recruits that MESMs are paid more & gain better qualifications than WESM's, this is no longer the case especially from a financial perspective. It is not until until you get up to the WO level the financial allowance is significantly different (& they are welcone to it :) ).

Pay & Allowances.
LET WESM's, on qualifying at sea, now receive an allowance similar to the 1st level of nuclear pay (in fact its a couple of pence more a day). As individuals advance up the promotion ladder be they WESM or MESM this "spec" pay also increases at a similar level). All engineers no matter what branch also receive a generic engineering pay which also increases with progression.

Qualifications.
WESM & MESM's receive an Advanced Apprenticeship from thier respective LET qualifying course. WESM's receive a foundation degree from POETQC as can MESMs. So as you can see the pay, allowances and qualifications are very similar for both branches, with transferable skills from both branches in high demand from the defence industry.

As for roles I do think MESMs have a harder job (tough for me to admit as a WESM), but the working environment, breadth of systems to maintain and operate and the constant requirement to remain 'in date" consisting of lots of oral boards, exams and simulator time and potentially extra sea time to meet the nuclear regulators requirements makes for a very demanding job. Thats not to say us WESM have it easy, we don't its just very different. Would I swap to be a MESM - nope!!!

@Frcklfarm if your AA(SM) has a question about his stream, please DM me.
 

Frcklfarm

Newbie
You will have a section lead, who will expect you to be up and usefu as soon as possible, otherwise he gets called out when he is off watch.
Both ME and WE are good jobs, depends what you want.
Good luck
Thank you, WE is a good job.
 

Frcklfarm

Newbie
Good evening,

All AA(SM)'s (& UGAS (SM)) join as generic P/LET's and are streamed during SMQ, approx 15 weeks after joining up. This is not hidden from potential recruits, as all AFCO's and CA's are aware of this fact, all that is asked is that the potential recruits state their preference during their interviews.

The streaming is not "just the way it is", consideration is given to what qualifications, work background and preference the individual has, obviously the needs of the service do come 1st, but where ever possible the individual gets their choice. In most cases all AA(SM)/ UGAS recruits are spoken to as a group during SMQ by SR WESM/MESMs to give them the best information about the roles to help them make informed decisions. Only a very small number have not been given their choice. That small number are now actually happy in the stream that they were allocated.

Unfortunately, there is a common thought amongst potential recruits that MESMs are paid more & gain better qualifications than WESM's, this is no longer the case especially from a financial perspective. It is not until until you get up to the WO level the financial allowance is significantly different (& they are welcone to it :) ).

Pay & Allowances.
LET WESM's, on qualifying at sea, now receive an allowance similar to the 1st level of nuclear pay (in fact its a couple of pence more a day). As individuals advance up the promotion ladder be they WESM or MESM this "spec" pay also increases at a similar level). All engineers no matter what branch also receive a generic engineering pay which also increases with progression.

Qualifications.
WESM & MESM's receive an Advanced Apprenticeship from thier respective LET qualifying course. WESM's receive a foundation degree from POETQC as can MESMs. So as you can see the pay, allowances and qualifications are very similar for both branches, with transferable skills from both branches in high demand from the defence industry.

As for roles I do think MESMs have a harder job (tough for me to admit as a WESM), but the working environment, breadth of systems to maintain and operate and the constant requirement to remain 'in date" consisting of lots of oral boards, exams and simulator time and potentially extra sea time to meet the nuclear regulators requirements makes for a very demanding job. Thats not to say us WESM have it easy, we don't its just very different. Would I swap to be a MESM - nope!!!

@Frcklfarm if your AA(SM) has a question about his stream, please DM me.
Many thanks for your input, when I used the phrase ‘that’s just the way...’ it was in the sense that it’s the Armed Forces and you are obliged to do what’s required of you and recruits don’t get to choose. Considering the wide ranging and complex systems of a submarine. I’ve no doubt recruits are streamed to serve current needs and with many years of experience from the relevant staff. Thank you for the offer of a DM. I’m hoping my recruit will appreciate any stream offered.
 

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