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

Cyril Titus Zachariah
Cyril Titus ZachariahPublished On: September 30, 2020

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

Choosing the right field after completing and clearing all the class 12 board exams in India may seem like a task for many, especially in choosing between different paramedical and medical course. Among the different medical courses on offer, let us check out the differences & similarities between Optometry and Physiotherapy and help you understand which field of specialisation would best suit you.

Among the many paramedical courses on offer in the nation, Optometry and Physiotherapy are some of the top chosen fields after 12th. At the undergraduate level, aspirants will be able to choose between a variety of different bachelors and diploma programmes. Check out the different courses available to the students under each specialisation, the eligibility criteria, career scope and much more.

About Optometry

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. An Optometrist will further recommend you to an Eye Specialist or an Ophthalmologist (Eye Doctor) who can perform various procedures and operations to solve different eye-related problems.

However, if you pursue Optometry right after class 12, you will not be termed as an Eye Doctor. In order to become an Eye Doctor / Ophthalmologist / Eye Specialist, you will be required to pursue the 5-year MBBS degrees, subsequently followed by an MD/MS degree in Opthalmology.

Depending 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.

About Physiotherapy

When we speak of Physiotherapy, it is the specialisation that deals with the diagnosing, treatment and procedures on 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 musculoskeletal anatomy of human beings.

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.

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.

Skills Required - Optometry vs Physiotherapy

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

Course Syllabus - Optometry vs Physiotherapy

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

Courses to Pursue in India - Optometry vs Physiotherapy

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

Eligibility Criteria - Optometry vs Physiotherapy

The eligibility criteria for Optometry and Physiotherapy are to a certain extent are similar. However, each college will determine the eligibility criteria for both the 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.

Career Scope - Optometry vs Physiotherapy

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.

Higher Education Prospects - Optometry vs Physiotherapy

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:-


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 

Related Articles

Click on the links given below to know more about Physiotherapy, Optometry, and other related fields:

Check out the Difference Between BPT and DPT

Here are the Differences Between Veterinary Science & Paramedical Courses

Find out the Best Ways to Choose the Paramedical Course for yourself

Check out the Scope of Pursuing Paramedical Courses in India

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