MM1, the instant route is doable, but it is very hard. And I think your years of operations on board any vessel at the PPWS level will help a little, but it would be better if that time had been in EOS internalizing the quick response of steam demand, Tave, Rx Power, and all the other interactions. Notice, I said it would help a little. When we're running simulator drills, and I see Rx pressure going down, or turbine output going down, I don't have to consider long what could be making it happen. We have that minor advantage... It's a lead over the others that really doesn't last long, and pales when compared to their knowledge of plant systems and groups.
As for money... I can only give you a snap shot. While in class, about 85 per year, and 20 in bonuses spread over the class period as you successfully complete phases. Once you graduate, about 94, with 1000/month license bonus, and 600 or so per month for being on shift.
Our license class runs 18 months. GFES, which is like a mini-nuke school is first, and it's more like a pre-school. You don't pass the multiple-choice test at the end, you don't go on. Here, you will have an advantage, cause you have theory. You already know from those miserable years of standing Heise gage watch that piston pos disp pumps put out a rougher pressure output than a rotary PDP. You have Rx Theory, and though it's different, it really is no big deal.
Then you'll have systems. Lets see... Let me look... About 70 systems, everything from turbine building oily drains to ESFAS (Engineered Safety Features Actuation Systems). Some are easy, some suck! I still don't have a good handle on every single process rad monitor. And as soon as you learn something, pile something else on top of it. I thought my all nighter days were behind me, but noooo. I've pulled many in the last year. Then there's Normal ops, Off Normals, Emergency Procedures... I have about 500 pages of Emergency procedures and background documents to be tested on tomorrow for the last 2 weeks. 4 hours per day in the classroom, 4 hours in the simulator.
There is a slight adversarial relationship that exists with training. Some instructors are GOLD. Some have the attitude that you're damn well blessed to be in their program, and you better act like it. And if there is ANY doubt, any at all, that you will not pass the NRC exam... Then game over, thanks for trying, and go back to where you came from, or maybe we'll find you another place in the company. Because it looks bad for the company to send you to take the NRC exam, and you fail. Reflects badly upon the company, you see?
But, you can do it. You simply make up your mind that you're going to get that license, you're going to TAKE it from them, and they can't stop you, and do whatever it takes. Because for me, at least, it's worth it.
You probably qualified PPWS for a reason.. CRAO's much more satisfying than RAO, CMO more than ERLL. PPWO was more satisfying for me on Enterprise than was PPWS. That's the way I feel about having a license. I hired on here in a craft. Whenever we have e-plan drills, the selected crafts people from I&C, Mechanical, and Electrical go sit in a room, and every now and then, we're selected out, to go do some task, then we get back, and go sit in the room. Here, have a cookie while you wait.. Lunch will be provided. If that's what you want... OK. For me, it wasn't enough. I wanted to be a guy who knew what was going on, and was in the decision making process. Sure, there's downside. Everybody will second guess every decision you make. You are under a bit of a microscope. But, you want to be in the drivers seat, or you don't.
So, I know you're tired of ORSE MTT cycles... And you can hire into OPS at the NLO level, and get experience, then go to license class, become a RO, wait a bit, get more experience, then become an SRO. That's a good path, and your training will help you out. I really think it will. It just doesn't have much to do with your starting salary. Hope that gives some guidance, and feel free to IM me more about license class and the different comanies out there.