Generally speaking, there are two types of sociology lecturer. One is a higher education professional who works at a college or university and delivers lessons to students. The second gives public and private lectures on sociology topics to clubs, organizations and interested members of the public. To become a sociology lecturer of either type, you will need a certain amount of education and may need teaching or speaking experience. To become a public lecturer, you will also need a platform — something that attracts listeners, such as a published study or book.
The amount of education you will need to become a sociology lecturer depends largely on the type of lecturing you wish to do and your geography. Public lecturers can become quite successful with a four-year degree if they have an interesting topic and an appealing speaking manner. Even a self-taught sociologist can find success in this arena.
In the higher education space, however, a formal education is a necessity to become a sociology lecturer. The level of education may still vary, though, based on what the term "lecturer" means in a given geographic area. For example, in many places, a lecturer is distinct from a professor in terms of salary; access to tenure; classroom responsibilities; and, often, education and experience requirements. In these areas, some colleges allow you to become a sociology lecturer with only a four-year degree. Others require an advanced degree or even a doctorate.
In some locales, the term "lecturer" is interchangeable with the term "professor." In most such cases, you will need at least a master's and, most probably, a doctorate to become a sociology lecturer. In either case, most university lecturers are expected to have at least some experience in teaching, even if that experience comes from being a graduate assistant while earning an advanced degree. As a general rule, the more prestigious the college, the more experience you will likely be required to have.
A public lecturer, on the other hand, may be able to get by with very little actual experience as a teacher or as a sociologist, provided he has a strong platform and a good speaking presence. Experience in public speaking is an asset if you wish to become a sociology lecturer of this type. Experience as a university lecturer or as a field sociologist can also add credibility to your presentation.
It is important to note that, in some countries, high school and prep school teachers are called lecturers. In these cases, you would need to meet the same requirements to become a sociology lecturer as you would need to become a high school lecturer of any other subject. This usually means a college degree in sociology or an education degree with a focus in social sciences.