When Matthew McVay was younger, he hopped around between jobs. He was a bartender, a salesman, even a tree farmer. But he’s had the most joy and success with the career he eventually landed on 17 years ago — a carpenter.
"Our job is to solve problems, and that’s part of the pride that goes into our work,” he says about carpentry. What’s more, he’s not sitting behind a desk, worried about quarterly reports and paperwork. "The single thing I like most about the job is there’s next to no take-home stress," he explained, adding that carpentry is the kind of work where you can see measurable progress each day. "You’ve got a wall up that wasn’t there the day before."
He now owns and operates his own Ohio-based company. "The way the job opportunities seem to be coming, there’s not a slowdown in sight. We’re booked out for the next three years with further opportunities."
McVay thinks there’s a common misconception about the skilled trades — that it’s a career path for people without options. But he believes the opposite is true.
"I see people who choose to do this as a profession because they see it as a legitimate opportunity to be able to provide for their families. And the opportunity to make money is definitely there. I don't know any of my friends that are making the kind of money that I'm making right now. So, it feels pretty good."