Many Secondary School students in Nigeria never get to hear of the course optometry until they start seeking admission into the University.
One common question people ask is “How lucrative is Optometry in Nigeria” and today I am going to give you an accurate answer to that question.
Optometry is an healthcare profession that aims at detecting defect in vision as well as ocular abnormalities (malfunction of the eye lens) and therefore prescribe spectacles or contact lenses if necessary.
In other words, the work of an Optometrist is to check the health state of the eyes and if any defect is found, he or she is to prescribe the appropriate spectacles or lenses to correct the abnormality.
This is very well different from the work of an Ophthalmologist, while an optometrist is in charge of prescribing lenses to correct eye defects, an Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the defects and treatment of the eyes.
To become an Ophthalmologist, you will have have to study for an MB.BS degree after which you specialize on the treatment of the eyes, but for an Optometrist, you can easy gain admission into the school of Optometry and get your degree.
The Work of an Optometrist
An Optometrist is trained to detect eye defects and prescribe the appropriate lenses and spectacles to correct it.
How Lucrative is Optometry in Nigeria
Optometry is not as lucrative as the name sounds in Nigeria, as the job opportunities are rear and they have to compete with their counterpart, the ophthalmologist.
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An average optometrist in Nigeria earns around #100,000 a month when employed by the government but if they are employed by private institutions and NGOs, the pay may get smaller.
Most graduates of Optometry in Nigeria today establish eye lens centers where they prescribe lenses for people.
If you also take a good look at the course, you will find out that the majority of students initially wanted to study medicine & surgery but for one reason or the other, they found their self studying Optometry.
Also to consider, the duration of completing an Optometry programme in Nigeria is 8 years. This means that Medicine and Optometry tend to get certified at almost the same time, thus, time is not a differentiating factor.
Reasons You Should Study Optometry in Nigeria
Despite the odds, there are still some very good advantages of studying optometry in Nigeria, and they are :
- Optometry is a Professional course in Nigeria, therefore you will have the backing of an Organisation
- Your Optometry skills can be privatized and as such you do not need to look for a job all your life
- There is a quite high demand in vision expertise in Nigeria, so you ca easily get clients for your private firm
- Gaining admission to study Optometry in Nigeria is quite easy as it is not as competitive as Medicine & Surgery
- Although not important, an Optometrist as the legal rights to attach a Dr title to his name.
Due to the nature of the degree, an Optometrist can work in any firm related with the vision of humans.
Basically, a good number of Optometrist own a firm, where they recommend glasses to people with eye defects to help them correct their vision.
Also, a good number of them can be found in government hospitals and clinics.
If you ask me, I will advise you to go for Ophthalmology if you have the chance because they are more valued in Nigeria and easily get employed in hospitals.
To become an Ophthalmologist in Nigeria, you will have to study Medicine & Surgery for 8 years, after which. you specialize in the treatment of the eyes which is called ophthalmology.
Generally speaking, Ophthalmologist are paid higher than Optometrist in Nigeria.