From our childhood till now we have learned from different things from various people for 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 professor and lecturer are academics which are encompassed in the profession of teaching. However, for those who are not into academics for them, it is vastly confusing as to what the differences between a professor and a lecturer are. 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.
The lecturer is the title of a teacher who has just started to teach at 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 endeavours 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.
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 the doctorate. After doing a PhD, applicants can become an assistant professor 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.
Lecturers and professors both teach at college-level. However, while both lecturer and professor may teach in academic institutions, they have varying roles and qualifications.
Job Growth (2014-2024)
Masters or PhD
60,000 approx (Postsecondary teachers, all other)
9%-13% (Postsecondary teachers, all other)
Masters or PhD
75,000 approx (Postsecondary teachers)
13% (Postsecondary teachers)
Lecturer in the lowest ranking academic at a college.
Professor is the highest ranking academic at a university/college
Lecturer usually teaches undergraduate classes.
Professor teaches undergraduate, graduate.
Lecturer is not involved in executive and managerial tasks at the universities.
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.
Lecturers generally do not complete terminal degrees.
Professors complete concluding degrees in their field of expertise.
Lectures get a lower salary than professors.
Professors get a higher salary as compare to lecture.
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 speciality and conduct research toward being published in academic journals.
With high qualification and one’s own ability in varying fields of education, one can go as high as Vice-Challenor of the University. For becoming a good lecturer one must possess excellent knowledge and marvellous skill in teaching.
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.