Sometimes the most obvious career choice is right in front of you.
“Growing up, I was in the generation that everyone preached that you have to go to college if you want to be able to support a family,” says Anthony Strada. “So, I went, but I just went through the motions, not realizing I had my best opportunity in front of me the entire time.”
That opportunity was the electrical and HVAC contracting company that was founded by his dad, Joe Strada. (HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Read about becoming an HVAC technician here.) The company offers on-the-job training so that technicians are able to earn money from the first day – all while learning a new skillset. “It’s very rewarding,” Anthony says, adding that he’s used his college degree “a grand total of zero days in my entire life.”
While it’s nice to have his son working for him, Joe believes both the HVAC and electrical fields are ripe for anyone who is looking for a good career opportunity. “I think what's surprising about our profession is the amount of money people can make, and how well they could support their family,” Joe says, recalling the day one of his workers told him how learning the HVAC trade had not only changed his life, but saved it.
Joe wants to tell more people what's possible in this line of work. “This is a great industry that's always in demand. You need power to turn your lights on and you need to be comfortable and cool. And those are two really important things that people won't go without.”
For Anthony, that constant demand means he has more opportunities to take pride in the work he’s doing. “It's something that you get to see the immediate rewards of putting something together,” he says. “You can see a new family moving in, maybe it’s their first house. And it's because of the work that you and the other trades have done on that house that allow them to make it a home.”