What are the Different Lecturer Jobs?

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  • Written By: Barbara R. Cochran
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 26 July 2019
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The term lecturer can refer to many different types of speakers whose purpose is to teach or inform. One of the earliest types of lecturers in England were assistant curates who served in Church of England parishes. Modern clergy throughout the world could all be considered lecturers. All people who are lecturers, no matter what they are talking about, are generally considered to be experts in their specific field or fields.

Lecturer jobs at universities can cover many different academic fields, depending on the country. In the UK, the United States, and Canada, lecturers are usually found across many — if not all — academic departments, doing teaching and sometimes research. In France and at German-speaking universities, lecturer jobs tend to only be found in literature and language departments.

UK universities generally rank lecturers below Readers and Professors, while Senior Lecturers, also known as Principal Lecturers, hold positions between those of Lecturers and Readers. In the past, lecturer jobs in the UK concentrated on teaching. Since the 1990s, Senior Lecturers, most of whom hold a Doctorate degree, have generally been required to demonstrate strong administrative and research skills in addition to superior teaching ability. In the UK university system, tenure has, for the most part, fallen by the wayside. Once the probationary period has been completed successfully, an academic can spend his or her entire career as a Senior Lecturer.


In the United States and Canada, academic lecturer jobs might be filled by graduate students or master’s-level academics who are working on a doctoral degree. Lecturers at North American universities focus heavily on teaching, rather than research, which is typically left up to academics who hold the rank of professor. In the interests of cost effectiveness, many universities in the United States have hired permanent full- and part-time lecturers to replace professors who have retired or passed away.

Even in a university setting, some lecturer jobs do not necessarily require an advanced academic degree. For example, a well-known, published writer might be offered a position as lecturer to teach a class or two on poetry. In such cases, the appointment usually only lasts for a semester or year.

Not all lecturer jobs are carried out at universities. Most of them also have educative value, however. Many experts give presentations on television and radio, sometimes in the form of an infomercial, related to matters like personal finances, self-help, and health. Through their lectures, these experts may be actually marketing their services or a book they have written. A question and answer period may follow.



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