Discover the Key Findings and Resources for Career Comparison

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Discover the Key Findings and Resources for Career Comparison

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Choosing the Careers to Compare
  3. Using the Occupational Outlook Handbook Website
    • Accessing the Website
    • Navigating the Different Tabs
  4. Selecting the Traits to Compare
    • Pay
    • Job Outlook
    • Education Requirements
    • Work Environment
    • Job Responsibilities
    • Work Schedule
    • Similar Occupations
  5. Gathering Reliable Sources
  6. Creating a Works Cited Page
  7. Formatting the Works Cited Page in MLA
    • Setting up the Document
    • Formatting the Citations
  8. Comparing Two Occupations
    • Example: Post-Secondary Teacher
    • Example: Respiratory Therapist
  9. Conclusion



When it comes to choosing a career, it's important to gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision. One effective way to do this is by comparing and contrasting different careers. In this article, we will explore how to research and write a compare/contrast essay on two careers using the Occupational Outlook Handbook website as a valuable resource.

Choosing the Careers to Compare

Before diving into the research process, it's essential to select the two careers you wish to compare. Consider your interests, skills, and long-term goals. Are you torn between teaching and respiratory therapy? These are two distinct paths that offer unique opportunities. Once you have identified the careers you want to explore, it's time to turn to the Occupational Outlook Handbook website for detailed information.

Using the Occupational Outlook Handbook Website

Accessing the Website

To access the Occupational Outlook Handbook website, simply click on the provided link or search for "Occupational Outlook Handbook" in your preferred search engine. Once you land on the website, you'll find a wealth of information about various occupations.

Navigating the Different Tabs

Upon reaching the Occupational Outlook Handbook website, you'll notice several tabs that can assist you in comparing the two careers you've chosen. These tabs provide insights into different aspects of each occupation, helping you determine what traits to compare. Let's explore some of these tabs and how they can aid in your research.

Selecting the Traits to Compare

When comparing two careers, it's crucial to focus on specific traits that will provide meaningful insights. Here are some key traits to consider:


Examine the salary range for both careers. Does the pay align with your financial goals and expectations? Keep in mind that factors like experience, education, and location can influence salary.

Job Outlook

Consider the job outlook for each profession. How many job opportunities are projected for the future? A field with a high demand for professionals is more likely to offer stability and growth.

Education Requirements

Compare the educational requirements for each career. How much time and investment are you willing to dedicate to your education? Consider the level of education needed, such as degrees or certifications.

Work Environment

Explore the work environment of both professions. Does it align with your preferences and personality? Some individuals thrive in fast-paced, high-stress environments, while others prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.

Job Responsibilities

Understand the specific responsibilities associated with each career. It's essential to have a clear idea of what you'll be doing on a day-to-day basis. Ensure that the tasks involved are aligned with your interests and strengths.

Work Schedule

Consider the work schedule for each career. Are you looking for a typical Monday-to-Friday nine-to-five job, or are you open to more varied hours and shifts?

Similar Occupations

Lastly, explore similar occupations related to the careers you are researching. This can provide valuable insights into alternative career paths. Who knows, you might discover a profession that better suits your interests and aspirations.

Gathering Reliable Sources

Once you have determined the traits you wish to compare, it's time to gather reliable sources to support your research. The Occupational Outlook Handbook website is an excellent starting point. However, don't limit yourself to a single source. Explore other reputable websites, academic journals, and industry publications to gather a well-rounded understanding of each career.

Creating a Works Cited Page

To maintain academic integrity and give credit to your sources, it's crucial to create a works cited page. The Modern Language Association (MLA) format is typically used for this purpose. Let's go through the basics of formatting a works cited page in MLA.

Setting up the Document

To create a works cited page in MLA format, open a new Word document. Set the font to 12-point Times New Roman and enable double spacing throughout the document. Ensure that there is no extra spacing added automatically by adjusting the paragraph settings.

Formatting the Citations

Format each citation according to the information available for the source. Start with the author's name, followed by the title of the webpage or article in quotation marks. Use italics for the container, which is typically the website name. Include the publisher, publication date, and the URL of the webpage, if applicable.

Comparing Two Occupations

To provide a practical example of comparing two careers, let's explore the post-secondary teacher and respiratory therapist professions.

Post-Secondary Teacher

A post-secondary teacher plays a vital role in educating students beyond high school. They teach in colleges, universities, and vocational schools, preparing students for their chosen careers. Explore the traits mentioned earlier for the post-secondary teacher career and compare them to those of respiratory therapy.

Respiratory Therapist

A respiratory therapist specializes in helping patients with breathing difficulties. They work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Research the traits mentioned earlier for the respiratory therapist career and compare them to those of a post-secondary teacher.

By thoroughly comparing and contrasting these two careers, you'll gain a deeper understanding of their similarities, differences, and potential paths for your future.


Researching and comparing two careers is a crucial step in making an informed career decision. By utilizing the Occupational Outlook Handbook website and other reliable sources, you can gather valuable information on different traits and make comparisons based on criteria such as pay, job outlook, education requirements, and more. Remember to properly cite your sources using the MLA format and create a comprehensive works cited page. By thoroughly exploring and comparing careers, you'll be better equipped to choose a path that aligns with your interests, skills, and aspirations.

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