As @addjunkie and @Brad93 have said Instrument/Electrical Technicians are higher paid than Mechanical Technicians - unless highly specialized such as Rotating Equipment or Aeronautical Technicians. The places they work in tend to be cleaner and less arduous. Several of my Instrument/Electrical Technicians read for degrees, none of my Mechanical Technicians did. Two of my Instrument/Electrical Technicians are now working at CERN. I am concerned that one of your main drivers seems to be getting a position as close to your current home as possible. As @addjunkie said 'No one chooses a job for life now, so for the first decade or so, what you are really doing is acquiring transferable skills to sell to prospective employers.' I would add that the days of following Dad/Grandad/Uncle into the local job market are long gone - unless Dad is the local Squire of course. In the first decade or so you should open up your geographical horizons as well. Geographical flexibility is a valuable transferable skill.