This article is all about optometrists salary structure in South Africa this 2022. The field of optometry is very important in the medical and health care sector in South Africa, and it is fast becoming one of the most popular in the country as well. As we proceed, we will understand just how much an optometrist is paid per month in the country today.
In South Africa presently, optometrists are beginning to get the appreciation they deserve and this is because many people are getting to understand better their role in eye care, helping them to easily differentiate their field and area of specialization from ophthalmology, as well as knowing the difference between an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and an optician. All specialists work for the common good of the eyes but their roles are somewhat different and we shall see that soon.
Going forward, optometry has come to stay and it is very important in the medical world. Because of this, it is not unusual or uncommon to find many prospective university students in South Africa filling this discipline as their course of study, plus the salary when one becomes an optometrist is quite attractive. It may not be as attractive as that of a medical doctor’s salary but it is good.
In about a minute or two, we will give a detailed breakdown of the average salaries of optometrists in South Africa presently, stating just how much they earn per month in government hospitals as well as optometry clinics. Optometrists salary in private hospitals will also be looked into so as to give an all round information on how much these eye experts are paid in the country currently.
OPTOMETRISTS SALARY STRUCTURE IN South Africa 2022
The average entry level salaries for optometrists in South Africa this 2022 falls on the pay scale range between R$ 3,660 – R$ 5,490 in private hospitals and optometry clinics, while the salary of optometrists in government hospitals is between R$ 5,490 – R$ 8,418 or more.
Many fresh graduates of optometry in the public sector however, may be placed on R$ 2,562 monthly salaries and as they grow in experience, and rise through the ranks, their monthly earnings will increase. As earlier stated, this field is very good and pay is attractive but may require patience as one grows on the job.
OPTOMETRY: THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
The field of Optometry is a health care profession that deals with the examination of the eyes and visual systems in general in order to check for defects or abnormalities and treat them appropriately. It also involves the correction of refractive error with glasses or contact lenses.
An Optometrist is a healthcare professional that provides primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. Optometrists, upon successful completion of their university education which generally span six years in South Africa, receive the doctor of optometry degree (OD), but they are however, not generally considered as medical doctors. Masters and PhD programmes in this field are also available.
These healthcare professionals are not to be confused with Ophthalmologists, who are medical doctors, skilled in the field of medicine and surgery that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of various eye diseases (Ophthalmology).
Ophthalmologists are allowed to use medications to treat eye diseases, implement laser therapy, and perform surgery on the eyes when needed. Ophthalmologists may participate in academic research on the diagnosis and treatment for eye disorders.
Again, optometrists and ophthalmologists should not be confused with opticians who are technicians trained to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. They use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists and optometrists, but do not test vision or write prescriptions for visual correction. Opticians are not permitted to diagnose or treat eye diseases. Altogether, these group of eye care professionals may work hand in hand in overall vision care.
HOW TO BECOME AN OPTOMETRIST IN South Africa
If you want to become an optometrist in South Africa, these are the following steps to take:
STEP 1: BE CERTIFIED
The very first step you will need to take on your journey to becoming an optometrist is to be certified, and how is that? First of all, you must be a science student at secondary school level and you are required to pass your core science subjects and the English Language in your WAEC and NECO, making sure that you get five (5) credit passes in your O’Level in not more than two (2) sitting.
After this, you are expected to pass your UTME and post UTME screening exams, with your subject combinations being Use of English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, upon which you will be given provisional admission into the university of your choice to study optometry which is a six year course.
STEP 2: HOUSE JOB
After completing your university education, you will be required to proceed for housemanship or internship, which is a mandatory one year training programme in optometry where you will interact with other more experienced professionals in your field to gain experience while being paid as well, and this happens after your induction into the optometry profession by the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registration Board of South Africa (ODORBN).
STEP 3: NYSC
On completing your house job, you will be required to proceed for the mandatory one year of national service to your fatherland (NYSC) like other fresh graduates and you may be posted to local hospitals or clinics within the state where you have are deployed. Completing your NYSC and getting your certificate ensures that you are qualified to work in South Africa wherever you apply for a job as an optometrist.