Ever since I arrived at this school freshman year, I have been encouraged by my parents to become an occupational therapist (OT). I am discontent with the descriptions of this career, but I may pursue that career for my parents despite my displeasure. Besides becoming an occupational therapist, I am also considering the profession of an optometrist since I am interested in helping people acquire perfect eyesight. Although the two careers optometry and occupational therapy are similar because of their relation to the field of science, optometry seems as if it is a more suitable career choice to fit my character. Occupational therapists work in workout rooms in an environment that is well lighted and equipped with materials such as machines to help their patients (Occupational 277). These machines generate much noise in large rehabilitation centers.

Therapists work in spacious rooms and are usually on their feet. At certain times, a therapist may confront emergencies where a patient is severely ill. Optometrists also work in well- lighted offices. The offices are furnished to their liking and have equipment used to examine eyes.

These machines do not emit any noises, unlike those of occupational therapists. Optometrists work in quiet surroundings and are seldom faces with emergencies (Cosgrove 808). Occupational therapists have a very challenging job description. They must be able to help patients who are disabled. Occupational Therapists work to help individuals who do not function correctly such as people with permanent disabilities, the inability to function in a work environment, and even the mentally ill (Farr 385). Optometrists also help patients who have imperfections with their bodies; but unlike occupational therapists, optometrists work to correct vision problems by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses.

They diagnose eye diseases and perform tests to determine the best method to correct vision problems. An optometrist also performs certain surgical procedures and will even counsel patients about their vision (Occupational 278). The educational background needed for both careers include therapy and counseling and biology (Occupational 277). Other courses needed to become an occupational therapist are administration and management, clerical, economics and accounting, customer and personal service, personnel and human resources, and psychology.

Occupational therapists must have at least a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy (Occupational 279). Optometrists also need to have completed chemistry, medicine, and dentistry, education and training, and foreign languages. A completed three years of pre optometric study at an accredited college or university is required to receive a Doctor of Optometry degree (Cosgrove 807). The salary earned by optometrists and occupational therapists are greatly different. A typical occupational therapist earns about $46, 779 whereas an optometrist earns about $64, 209.

The median annual earnings of occupational therapists were $51, 990 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $42, 910 and $61, 620. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35, 130 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74, 390 (Occupational 277). Median annual earnings of salaried optometrists were $86, 090 in 2002.

The middle 50 percent earned between $62, 030 and $115, 555. Median annual earnings of salaried optometrists in 2002 were $87, 070 in offices of other health practitioners (Occupational 279). Occupational therapists have a rewarding career because they are able to help people with disabilities. Knowing they have helped their clients live independently enables therapists to lead satisfying lives. Another advantage that comes with choosing occupational therapy as a profession is their rising employment rate, which is increasing faster than the average yearly rate (Cosgrove 808).

Though optometrists do not receive the satisfaction of helping a person walk or live independently, they still have rewarding jobs. Optometrists have a considerable amount of opportunity to find jobs. Optometrists held about 32, 000 jobs in 2002. They may have a private practice, and still work in another practice in a clinic or a vision care center. An additional reason why optometry is a rewarding career is that their working conditions are flexible and allow optometrists to change their work schedules (Cosgrove 809). There are also disadvantages with becoming occupational therapists and optometrists.

Occupational therapists must work hard to succeed in their job. Their work is tiresome since therapists are on their feet most of the time. Occupational therapists must be patient and understanding with their clients (Occupational 276). One disadvantage for optometrists is how there are many competing practices in the United States (Occupational 278). Another disadvantage is that the education needed to become an optometrist is challenging. Optometrists must pass the examinations of the National Board in Optometry to receive a Doctor of Optometry degree.

Even though both occupational therapy and optometry are related to science, I would choose the field of optometry to be my final career choice mainly because of the work environment of their offices. Optometrists usually have immaculate work areas with a quiet atmosphere. I also feel as if optometry is a career I can be proficient at since it requires mainly scientific knowledge. I am comfortable with science since I have maintained an A average in that subject. I am able to "study hard in chemistry and biology classes." A current optometrist, Ngoc Nguyen, gave this advice to me to pursue my career in optometry. Also, I believe the income of an optometrist is a sufficient amount to live an untroubled life by helping to support a family in the future.

These reasons why optometry is an exceptional job convince me that optometry is a finer career choice. Bibliography Cosgrove, Holi R. Encylopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. 3 rd ed. Vol. 3.

Chicago IL: Ferguson Publishing Company, 2000 Farr, J M. Best Jobs of the 21 st Century. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, Inc. , 1999.

Occupational Outlook Handbook. 2005 ed. Vol. 1. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, 2004." What is an Optometrist." vision channel. net.

23 Oct. 2004.