While at college Stroetzel began playing in the band Aftershock. The band broke up in 1999, when Joel formed Killswitch Engage along with Adam Dutkiewicz.
During with Killswitch Engage his role in the band has stayed the same. Joel plays the guitar solo in the track Holy Diver and is seen occasionally singing during “The End of Heartache” in live.
Joel Stroetzel joined for Times of Grace as touring musician.