Optometry vs Physiotherapy: What’s The Best Option After 12th

Cyril Titus Zachariah
Cyril Titus ZachariahUpdated On: September 01, 2023 07:12 pm IST

Interested in pursuing an Optometry or Physiotherapy Course? Check out the differences and similarities between Optometry and Physiotherapy. Check out the courses on offer after 12th, the eligibility criteria, the career scope and higher education prospects of both the courses.

Differences Between Optometry and Physiotherapy

Optometry vs. Physiotherapy: What's The Best Option After 12th?: Choosing the right career path after completing 12th grade can be an exhilarating yet perplexing journey for students. In this pivotal moment of their lives, they stand at a crossroads, with countless possibilities and aspirations pulling them in different directions. Among the myriad of choices, two healthcare professions often emerge as compelling options: Optometry and Physiotherapy. Both fields offer promising career prospects, but they diverge in terms of scope, education, and the impact they have on patients' lives. In this article, we will explore the world of Optometry and Physiotherapy, dissecting the nuances of each profession to help students make an informed decision about their future. So, let's embark on this comparative journey and discover which path - Optometry or Physiotherapy - aligns best with your passion and ambitions.

Optometry Vs Physiotherapy - Highlights

Introduction to the Field

Optometry is a field of specialisation which deals with diagnosing and providing solutions to the different issues in the human eye. A person who pursues Optometry right after class 12th will graduate as an optometrist who is trained to diagnose diseases and eyesight problems, prescribing spectacles and lenses and to a certain extent perform treatment of the eyes.

Physiotherapy is a specialisation that deals with the diagnosing, treatment and procedures of patients with motor disabilities. The specialisation is designed to train the aspirants to carry out procedures to help patients recover from their physical disabilities and injuries. Physiotherapy is a course that focuses on the cure as well as the prevention of such motor disabilities while also providing an in-depth knowledge of the musculoskeletal anatomy of human beings.

Introduction to the CoursesDepending on the type of degree chosen by the candidate, the duration of an Optometry course will range between 2-4 years, which includes Diploma and Bachelor degree. Many Optometry colleges in India also offer certificate courses in the field, with the minimum eligibility criteria being 10+2.At the undergraduate level, the candidates will be able to a Diploma and Bachelors programme after 12th. The duration of the courses in one of the physiotherapy colleges in India, i.e. Diploma and Bachelors programme, will range between 3 - 4.5 years, respectively.
Introduction to the Career

An Optometrist recommends a patient to an Eye Specialist or an Ophthalmologist (Eye Doctor) who performs surgeries and operations to solve eye-related problems. If you pursue Optometry right after class 12, you will not be termed as an Eye Doctor. To become an Eye Doctor, you will be required to pursue an MBBS course, followed by an MD/MS degree in Opthalmology.

The duty of a Physiotherapist is to help the patients exercise and stretch as well as massaging the affected areas. Physiotherapists are also responsible for providing the appropriate medication as an aid during therapy. However, medication is only for certain cases, as physiotherapy is the process of physical treatment of motor disabilities to retrieve partial or full functionality of the bodily functions.

Optometry vs Physiotherapy - Skills Required 

In order to pursue any course, a student must possess certain skills which will aid them in their future journey through their course and career. In the case of Optometry and Physiotherapy, the aspirants must have a few of the skills required, as specified below.

Keys Skills for Optometry

Key Skills for Physiotherapy

  • Good Communication Skills

  • Organisational Skills

  • Administrative Skills

  • Ability to Work in a Team

  • Patience

  • Good Communication Skills

  • Interpersonal Skills

  • Compassion and Empathy

  • Patience

  • Organisational and Administrative Skills

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure

  • Ability to Work in a Team

Optometry vs Physiotherapy - Course Syllabus

There are a lot of differences between the syllabus and the subjects covered in the courses. However, to a certain extent, some of the subjects and topics covered under both the course would still remain the same. Here is the course syllabus for both Optometry and Physiotherapy.



Ocular Anatomy

Human Anatomy

Ocular Physiology








Ocular Diseases and Illnesses


Community Optometry


Optometry Equipment and Machinery

Physiotherapy in Surgery and Medicine

Visual Optics

Sports Science and Medicine

Rehabilitation Science


Food Science and Nutrition

Optometry vs Physiotherapy - Courses to Pursue in India

At the undergraduate level, there are a number of degrees courses ranging from bachelors to diploma courses. Aspirants of both the courses will be able to pursue either diploma or a bachelors degree after clearing class 12 board exams. Here is a list of courses that can be pursued under each specialisation.



Bachelor of Optometry (B.Optom) - 4 Years

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) - 4.5 Years

B.Sc Optometry - 4 Years

B.Sc in Physiotherapy - 4.5 Years

Diploma in Optometry/Ophthalmic Technology - 2 Years

Diploma in Physiotherapy - 2 - 3 Years

Optometry vs Physiotherapy - Eligibility Criteria 

The eligibility criteria for Optometry and Physiotherapy are to a certain extent are similar. However, each college will determine the eligibility criteria for both courses based on their admission policy. Nonetheless, the entry requirements for both the fields at an undergraduate level are as follows:


Eligibility Criteria 

Optometry/ Physiotherapy

  • Aspirants should have cleared their class 12 board examination in the stream of science.

  • They must have secured a minimum aggregate score of 50% or more in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

  • Depending on the admission policy of the college offering the course, aspirants may be required to present a valid score obtained in an entrance test, as specified by the college. In most cases, the university or college offering the course will conduct the entrance exam itself.

Optometry vs Physiotherapy - Career Scope 

Among the major differences between the two courses are the differences in career scope and future prospects of pursuing either of the courses. The career opportunities in both fields are immensely high due to the lack of skilled and qualified professionals in the industry. When compared to the population, thousands of new skilled professionals in the field are still required.

Check out some of the job profiles and career scope that graduates of both the specialisations would find.




Job Profiles

  • Optometrist

  • Optician

  • Vision Consultant

  • Optometry Researcher

  • Physiotherapist

  • Paediatric Physiotherapist

  • Sports Physiotherapist

  • Post Operative Physiotherapist

  • Cardiovascular Physiotherapist

  • Neurology Physiotherapist

Areas of Employment

  • Government and Private Hospitals

  • Clinics

  • Own Business

  • Lens Manufacturing Companies

  • NGOs

  • Government and Private Hospitals

  • Rehabilitation Centres

  • Fitness and Sports Clinics

  • Own Business

  • Educational Institutions

Annual Packages

  • An annual package that will be offered to a fresh graduate of Optometry can range between ₹3,00,000 - ₹5,00,000.

  • With ample experience, skill and qualifications, the package will increase.

  • The annual package will also be affected by the area of employment.

  • A Physiotherapy graduate will be able to earn anywhere between ₹1,00,000 - 3,50,000 LPA as a fresher.

  • With experience and skill, the annual package will increase.

  • Salaries will depend on the area of employment as well.

Optometry vs Physiotherapy - Higher Education Prospects

Apart from choosing a career path, after graduating from an undergraduate course in either optometry or physiotherapy, they will also be able to pursue a postgraduate course as well. Pursuing a higher education degree will allow the candidates to expand their career scope and traverse into other fields as well. Here are some of the higher education prospects of both optometry and physiotherapy.

Past Qualifying Degree




Master of Optometry

Master of Physiotherapy

M.Sc in Optometry

M.Sc in Physiotherapy




Bachelor of Optometry

Bachelor of Physiotherapy

B.Sc in Optometry

B.Sc in Physiotherapy

These are some of the popular courses opted by aspirants in India after graduating from one of the undergraduate degrees in the courses mentioned above. Depending on your interests, you should choose the course and career path that you find the most suitable for you.

Top Optometry and Physiotherapy Colleges 

Some of the top Optometry and Physiotherapy colleges in India are listed below. If you are interested in pursuing any one of the courses in Optometry or Physiotherapy, fill out our Common Application Form and select the college and course of your choice.


Optometry Colleges

Physiotherapy Colleges


Anna School of Science & Management, Madurai 

Vivekananda Global University, Jaipur 


Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Moradabad 

Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technologies, Solan 


Mansarover Global University, Sehore 

Centurion University of Technology and Management, Bhubaneswar 


GITAM University, Visakhapatnam

Jagannath University, Jaipur 


University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun

IIMT University, Meerut


Parul University, Vadodara 

The Neotia University, Kolkata 


Jayoti Vidyapeeth Women's University, Jaipur 

Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chengalpattu 


NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata

GNA University, Phagwara 


The Neotia University, Kolkata 

RV College of Physiotherapy, Bangalore


Om Sterling global university, Hisar

Rayat Bahra University, Mohali 

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