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Difference Between lecturer and Professor

Update on 2024-04-15

Difference Between Lecturer and Professor - Lecturer Vs Professor

From our childhood till now we have learned different things from various people in our life. Starting from the womb, till the day one dies learning goes on and on. Mother is said to be the first teacher. Then come to the school teachers who play an important role in the student’s life. Those who went to college are influenced by their lecturers and professors. Both professors and lecturers are academics that are encompassed in the profession of teaching.

However, for those who are not into academics, it is vastly confusing as to what the Difference Between Lecturer and Professor is. Both teach in colleges/universities, this is clear to everyone as teachers at junior levels in schools are just teachers. Clearly, the differences between the two positions are about experience, expertise, and seniority.

What is Lecturer?

The lecturer is the title of a teacher who has just started to teach at the college and university level in undergraduate courses. These can teach part-time or full-time in colleges and universities. Lecturers are teachers who also assist research students in their endeavors and do not have tenures. These have very petty or no researcher responsibilities. Lecturers give lectures at colleges to aspirants having academic qualifications. After few years lecturers can become senior lecturers, which is a position below that of readers and professors.

Employment duties of Lecturers include:

  • Lecturers lead classes, workshops, and addresses as a piece of the course they instruct.
  • Use vocation and working background to instruct understudies.
  • Prompt understudies on both an illuminating and proficient level.
  • Add to their area of expertise advancement.
  • Conduct classes, seminars, and lectures as a part of the course they teach.

What is Professor?

A professor is a senior academic who has countless years of teaching experience. What makes him different is not just his seniority but the fact that he has carried out research in his chosen field of study and earned the degree of a doctorate. After doing a Ph.D., applicants can become assistant professors which is the starting rank in the teaching profession, but an assistant professor does not have tenure.

Assistant professors teach for 5-7 years, to get tenure, but if rejected, they have a chance to get tenure from another college within a year. Once tenure has been allotted to a professor, he qualifies to become an associate professor. This is an intermediate state, and after a few years of performing in this role, there is a promotion after which associate professors become full professors.

Employment duties of a Professor include:

  • Instruct the scope of courses for every semester identified with their field of the scholarly world.
  • Make the syllabus of the course, review papers, and audit the movement of alternates.
  • Prompt both undergraduate and graduate understudies.
  • Take an interest in organization and panels.
  • Participate in administration and committees.

Difference Between Lecturer and Professor





Lecturer in the lowest ranking academic at a college.

A professor is the highest-ranking academic at a university/college


The lecturer usually teaches undergraduate classes.

Professor teaches undergraduate, graduate.


The lecturer is not involved in executive and managerial tasks at the universities.

A professor is sometimes involved in administrative and managerial tasks at the colleges.


Lecturers have less experience than professors.

Professors have many years of experience.


Lecturers may or may not have tenure positions.

Professors complete final degrees in their field of expertise.

Terminal Degree

Lecturers generally do not complete terminal degrees.

Professors complete concluding degrees in their field of expertise.

Terminal Degree

Lectures get a lower salary than professors.

Professors get a higher salary as compare to lectures.

Lecturer vs Professor

Lecturers and professors both teach at the college level. However, while both lecturer and professor may teach in academic institutions, they have varying roles and qualifications.

Job Title

Education Requirements

Median Salary

Job Growth 


Masters or PhD

60,000 approx (Postsecondary teachers, all other)

9%-13% (Postsecondary teachers, all others)


Masters or PhD

75,000 approx (Postsecondary teachers)

13% (Postsecondary teachers)

Responsibilities of Lecturers and Professors

The Difference Between Lecturer and Professor is that Lecturers and professors work in similar settings, but their responsibilities and periodic tasks differ from each other. Both careers entail educating postsecondary learners however, a lecturer often has another career and is hired to teach a set course, while professors usually follow academic career paths toward earning tenure. Lecturers are often visiting staff at an academic institution who use their career experience to create a course syllabus and class structure, all while continuing in their primary career. On the other hand, professors teach within their scholarly specialty and conduct research toward being published in academic journals.

The way up the ladder:

  • The professor is the highest rank in the career of an academic that is a person who chooses to teach as his profession
  • On the other hand, a lecturer is a person who gives lectures to students in colleges and universities with or without academic qualifications
  • All teachers start as lecturers and some grow to become professors while some become senior lecturers respectively.
  • Professors have a wide range of duties and responsibilities and have to teach as well as continue advanced research in their chosen field of study. They also perform many administrative tasks.
  • Professors have more experience and earn more salaries than lecturers.
  • A professor is a permanent position in academics while lecturers have tenure.

Career Prospects for Lecturers

With high qualifications and one’s own ability in varying fields of education, one can go as high as the Vice-Challenor of the University. For becoming a good lecturer one must possess excellent knowledge and marvelous skill in teaching.

Some career fields are:

  • Reader
  • Assistant Lecturers
  • Vice-Challenor
  • Head of Department

Career Prospects for Professionals

Becoming a professor requires completing an extensive amount of education. However, career options look promising, especially for candidates willing to become adjunct professors and work at multiple schools or hold another part-time position in their field.

Some career fields are:

  • Assistant Professor
  • Head of the Department
  • Associate Professor
  • Senior Resident Assistant Professor

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