Difference Between Professor and Lecturer

Professor vs Lecturer

Both a professor and a lecturer are academics involved in the profession of teaching. However, for those who are not into academics, it is often confusing as to what the differences between a professor and a lecturer are. Both teach in colleges and universities, this much is clear to everyone as teachers at junior levels in schools are just teachers. Clearly the differences between the two positions are those of experience, expertise, and seniority. Let us find out more.


Lecturer is the tile of a teacher who has just started to teach at college and university level in undergraduate courses. These are academics at an early stage of their careers and 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 academics have very little or no research responsibilities. Lecturers give lectures at colleges to students without having academic qualifications. Lecturers, after few years of teaching become senior lecturers, which is a position below that of readers and professors.


A professor is a senior academic who has many 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 doctorate. After doing PhD, a lecture becomes an assistant professor which is the starting rank in the teaching profession, but assistant professor does not have tenure. Tenure means a permanent position and assistant professor with tenure cannot be easily dismissed. Assistant professors teach for 5-7 years, to get tenure, but if rejected, they have a chance to get tenure from another college or university within a year. Once tenure has been given to an assistant professor, he qualifies to become an associate professor. This is an intermediate position, and after a few years of performing in this role, there is a promotion after which associate professors become full professors.

Professor vs Lecturer

• Professor is the highest rank in the career of an academic that is a person who chooses teaching as his profession

• On the other hand, lecturer is a person who gives lectures to students in colleges and universities with or without academic qualifications

• All teachers’ starts as lecturers and some grow to become professors while some become senior lecturers only

• Professors have wide ranging 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 earn more salaries than lecturers and they are also more experienced

• Professor is a permanent position in academics while lecturers do not have tenure

  • http://jamaicaobserver.com jimjay42

    Why does it take twenty years or more for some professors to get a tenure; is it discrimination or an individual attitude?