Shrock, Macwire is correct with exception of the IBEW part being the only way. There are many good Nonunion shops out there.
You can do well in either case.
The school part should be in conjunction with the hands on part. This may cause you some hardship in that you will probably take a pay cut for awhile, but in the long run you will be happier.
I don't think there can be any restaurant forums as much fun as this.