Regardless of field many people are stuck where they are because of lack of ambition- some admitably because of stress concerns, but usually because they don’t want it bad enough. Risk adversion is another.
A classic example is the business grad who ends up fishing bills at the local TD booth and after a couple years ends up at the back office.
Or, in construction, labourer advances to equipment operator, and with the same outfit for a few years later maybe ending up with a few dollar per hour raise.
A restaurant I used to go to often, the owner has a friend who had both a MBA and JD. Now he is a RE agent.
Then you have the odd one with an engineering degree who is somehow today in one of the top positions at Apple. Given his salary he is easily a millionaire many times over.
In the first one, the alternative was to attend every possible networking event and keep eyes open for job postings everyday, constant applying, and put in most of your spare time networking and maintaining connections. Spend spare time and money learning new skills and even getting certs that will get you a better job.
In the second, the alternative was to keep an eye on job postings everyday and talk to people to know what projects are busy/starting up and whether they need bodies. In your spare time, even cold call other contractors to see what you can get. Look for work outside your immediate region. Always be hungry.
Often you will hear “I don’t want to ____ because I don’t want to deal with ___” though, especially at opportunities at advancement. But if you are willing to take the burden that may be your job one day.
There are of course discouraging statistics in comparison to other roles, and a lot of university programs exhibit this. Well… because money, simple. Everyone wants money in the easiest way possible.
Trades have a high barrier to entry (finding an apprenticeship in the first place) and are hard to complete as you’re dependent on having consistent employment to get you your apprentice hours, so it is not as rosy as many say. I have known some people in a trade for almost a decade who still don’t have their Red Seal, and accountants in the field for almost a decade who aren’t making good money. Salary wise in both scenarios they may be close.
In this case I’d say if you want something bad enough, go for it and fight your very hardest, but have a Plan B in case things don’t work out. And, pick something that you’re good at, not that you suck at.