This has being the question a lot of students are asking. As you well know, dentist in Nigeria do not get much appreciating due to the way Nigerians downplay things that has to do with their dental health.
However, most students do not have adequate knowledge of what Optometry is all about, most times, all people tell you is that they can also be called “doctors of the eyes” which is not fully true.
So today, I am going to define what the above courses (optometry and dentistry) entails as well as compare them in major terms of how lucrative they are in a developing country like Nigeria.
So let us get started
Dentistry is that aspect of Medical Sciences that has to do with the health, treatment and maintenance of the tooth. Basically, to become a dentist in Nigeria, you will have to study in the University for a period of 6 years after which you can start practicing.
However, the capacity as which dentist operate in Nigeria is minimal because Africans tend to care less about their tooth but that not withstanding, they till get an awesome pay from the Government.
So the best choice for a Dentist is getting employed in a Government hospital rather than setting up their own clinic.
You hardly see a dentist in Nigeria running a private clinic because the cost of purchasing the dental equipment are on the high side and even if the dentist chooses to go for a loan, the demand in the Nigerian market for dental services will be too low to strike profitable.
So once a dentist in Nigeria is done from college, the next thing is to either travel abroad or seek a job in a Government establishment / hospital.
Optometry In Nigeria
Optometry deals with the study and detection f eye defects and the use of glasses or lenses to correct them.
it is also a 6 year course in Nigeria and also very prestigious with a very high cut-off mark.
In the real sense, the demand for the services of an Optometrist is quite high in Nigeria judging from the fact that close to one third of the Nigerian population uses glasses, however, the competition is relatively high making it quite difficult to strike even.
You must have seen some set of medical personnel sharing flyers in churches, schools and public gather with the caption “free eye checkup”, those are Optometrist trying to survive. They have came out with a lot of mechanism of reaching out to people.
Just in case you want to know how they make money from conducting free eye checkups, I will tell you. After checking your eyes, if they find any defect that need correction, they would either sell their lenses to you or recommend a drug to you from their pharmacy.
The option of an Optometrist working in an hospital is also very lucrative as they are payed well along side other health workers.
However, the demand for optometrist in hospitals is quite low due to the availability of ophthalmologist.
An Ophthalmologist is a Medical Doctor who specializes in the diseases and treatment of the eyes, therefore, they are always more preferred to an Optometrist. However, an Ophthalmologist is restricted due to lack of adequate knowledge of lenses therefore an Optometrist could fill the gap.
|DENTISTRY IN NIGERIA||OPTOMETRY IN NIGERIA|
|A dentist in Nigeria earns around #120,000 to #300,000 per month when working for the Government||An Optometrist earns around #70,000 to #200,000 per month when working for the Government|
|The demand for dental expertise in Nigeria is reasonably low||The demand for Optometrist is high|
|Dentist in Nigeria have no competitors, therefore, they can fully dominate their niche||Optometrist in Nigeria compete indirectly with Ophthalmologist personnel.|
|Requires 6 years of study||Requires 6 years of study|
|Due to low demand and high cost of dental equipment, it cannot be easily privatized||Can easily be privatized in Nigeria|
Which Is More Lucrative in Nigeria : Dentistry Or Optometry
Judging from the facts on ground and also personal conviction, I will advise anyone to choose Dentistry over Optometry if they have the chance.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word Lucrative means to produce wealth or highly profitable, judging from that, when comparing dentistry to Optometry in Nigeria, here is my verdict ;
Working as a Dentist in Nigeria will earn you far more money than working as an Optometrist due to the job prestige and lack of competition, making it more lucrative than Optometry in Nigeria.
Dentistry as you well know is a 6 year course in Nigeria and requires a lot of commitment to complete.
For the first three year, the dental students will be groomed along side with the Medicine & Surgery students offering virtually the same course especially in their 100 Level.
After which they are separated to specialize in their various areas.
After successfully completing the dental course, dentist (which they are now called) are mostly faced with two choices which is to either travel out of the country to either further their study or practice or seek employment in any hospital around them, which is preferably a Government hospital due to the salary.
According to research, dentist in Nigeria make nothing lower than #120,000 every month.
Just like dentistry, Optometry is also a 6 years course in Nigeria and they are taught separately from other departments from the very beginning.
In fact, in most Universities in Nigeria like the University of Benin, Optometry is a faculty of its own.
They also got some period of internship before finally graduating as optometrist.
After successfully completing the Optometry program, Optometrist in Nigeria often team up with friends who are also optometrist to begin an eye care center, while they are waiting for a Job from the Government.
The salary of each of them without a Job depends solely on the profit of the organisation. From reliable data, it ranges from #30,000 to #100,000 per month depending on the strategy of the team.
However, once employed by the Government, they can start earning up to #150,000 per month.
Now, you have gotten what you asked for, you can consider sharing the article with your friends to help them make a good choice also.
I think it will be also necessary for you to know that there are other medical courses in Nigeria which you should check out, most of them are less competitive than Optometry and Dentistry and they are also lucrative.