- General secretary of the federation of Christian trade unions of Germany from 1903 to 1929
- Chairman of the Christian German trade union confederation from 1919 to 1929
- Member of the National Assembly and the Reichstag
- Prussian Minister-President from March to November 1921
- Became Reich Minister of Transport from 1929 to 1930
- Reich Minister of Labor from 1930 to 1932
Stegerwald joined the Center Party in 1896 and started his career in politics as a functionary in Christian unions. In 1903, he became the general secretary of the federation of Christian trade unions of Germany and stayed in office until 1929. As a Christian unionist, he promoted anti-Bolshevist policies and tried to counter the influence of the Free Unions. Alongside his work as a unionist, he took on various offices in the Prussian government, including a short stint as Prussian Minister-President in 1921. In 1929, he became Transport Minister in Reichskanzler Müller’s Grand Coalition. In Brüning’s cabinet, he served as Labor Minister. As a fervent catholic, he opposed the Nazi regime during the Third Reich. At the same time, he called for tempered opposition, so as to avoid retaliation from the Nazis.