Pros: unparalled training, the smartest and most hard-working peers you will ever meet, the experience of being a salty submariner
Cons: the navy has a terrible business model, low compensation in comparison with respective civilian jobs, loss of autonomy due to being in the military, leaders which you cannot change or transfer from
I spent 6 years in the US Navy, ultimately serving as an Electrician's Mate Nuclear on a ballistic missile submarine.
EM's own essentially every major electrical piece of equipment on a submarine, from components directly related to power production (Turbine generators/motor-generators), to appliances (Hot-plates/ovens in the galley), and essentially everything in between.
As such, the life of a submarine electrician is most probably one of the hardest jobs which requires both an extremely high level of knowledge and an immense amount of grunt work. I think a coal miners job is worse than mine, however, the coal miner isn't expected to have a high level of knowledge and work at an hourly rate which is much lower than his civilian counterpart.
Not only will you troubleshoot and repair equipment that is constantly breaking, but you will have scheduled periodic maintenance that is mind-numbing and long (Consider wiping out the inside of a motor-generator twice a month for 8+ hours straight).
On top of maintenance, you will stand watch as part of a team operating a nuclear reactor, either critical or shutdown. This is probably the most rewarding part of the job. I truly enjoyed being a nuclear operator.
During intense maintenance periods, such as refueling of the reactor core or shipyard availabilities, it will NOT be uncommon for you to work 14+ hour days, without weekends off, for the same pay you always receive, because you are salaried.
Lastly, on a submarine, you will stand a 24 hour duty day, in which you cannot leave the close proximity of the boat, usually every 3 – more... days, but sometimes you will be Port and Starboard, meaning you will have duty every other day.
In conclusion, the only, let me reiterate, only reason that a person should be a US Navy Submarine Electrician is so that they know once they survive the paces of their tour, that no job that they will ever have again will be as bad. The civilian opportunities that the naval nuclear community affords a person are essentially endless, but I would recommend being a Nuclear Electronic's Technician or Machinist Mate before an EMN. – less