At age 14, I wanted to know just one thing- Is optometry lucrative in Nigeria?
It’s been 35 years as an optometrist, and I have gathered all the necessary experience to offer the best career advice to anyone who needs answers as I was 35 years ago.
The truth is, lots of Secondary School students in Nigeria never get to hear of the course optometry until they start seeking admission into the University.
People ask one common question: “How lucrative is Optometry in Nigeria.” This question is probably driven by a desire to pursue a financially sustainable career.
Today I am going to give you an accurate answer to that question.
What is Optometry?
Optometry is a healthcare profession that aims to detect defects in vision and ocular abnormalities (malfunction of the eye lens) and prescribes 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, they are to prescribe the appropriate spectacles or lenses to correct the abnormality.
Be careful, however, not to mistake the role of an optometrist with that of an ophthalmologist.
These two very well differ from each other. For example, an optometrist is in charge of prescribing lenses to correct eye defects. At the same time, an Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the faults and treatment of the eyes.
To become an Ophthalmologist, you will have to study for an MB.BS degree, after which you specialize in the treatment of the eyes, but for an Optometrist, you can quickly gain admission into the school of Optometry and get your degree.
How Lucrative is Optometry in Nigeria
Optometry is not a very lucrative career path in Nigeria, as the job opportunities are rare, 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 the pay is way lesser if private institutions and NGOs use them.
Most Optometry graduates in Nigeria today establish eye lens centers where they prescribe lenses for people.
Suppose you also take a good look at the course. In that case, you will find out that most students initially wanted to study medicine & surgery but found themselves studying Optometry for one reason or the other.
Reasons You Should Study Optometry in Nigeria
Despite the odds, there are still some excellent 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 pretty high demand for vision expertise in Nigeria, so you can quickly get clients for your private firm
- Gaining admission to study Optometry in Nigeria is relatively easy as it is not as competitive as Medicine & Surgery
- Although not necessary, an Optometrist has the legal right to attach a Dr title to his name.
Possible Jobs for an Optometrist in Nigeria
Due to the nature of the degree, an Optometrist can work in any firm related to the vision of humans.
Many optometrists own a firm where they recommend glasses to people with eye defects to help them correct their vision.
I will advise you to study Ophthalmology rather than optometry, especially if you intend to have prestige in society.
To become an Ophthalmologist in Nigeria, you will have to study Medicine & Surgery for eight years and specialize in treating the eyes.
Generally speaking, ophthalmologists are paid higher than Optometrists in Nigeria.
Do you know an optometrist in Nigeria? is Optometry lucrative in Nigeria, given their standard of living? Let’s hear you in the comment section.