How to become a University Lecturer

University lecturers teach tertiary students in one or more subject areas and conduct research projects.

Personal requirements of a University Lecturer

  • Academic ability
  • Interested in original research
  • Enjoy, and have aptitude for, teaching
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Confidence in presenting information to an audience and fielding questions
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Leadership skills
  • Organisational and supervisory skills
  • Able to analyse and solve problems

Education & Training for a University Lecturer

To become a university lecturer you usually have to complete a degree in your field, preferably at a masters or doctoral degree level. Relevant courses are widely available. Consult institution handbooks for more information on courses in your field of interest. Previous teaching, research and/or industry experience is also looked on favourably by employing institutions. Postgraduate teaching courses may help you gain employment. Entry to postgraduate teaching courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree, as well as relevant work experience. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a University Lecturer

University lecturers may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare and deliver lectures, tutorials and practical classes
  • assess student assignments and grade student performance
  • supervise research students
  • discuss with students their progress and/or aspirations
  • organise and conduct field trips and excursions or other learning activities
  • research a specialised field of study and publish the findings in books or professional and academic journals
  • attend meetings and conferences related to research
  • plan courses in consultation with other staff, arrange course timetables and coordinate and supervise teaching assistants to conduct classes
  • serve on departmental or faculty committees dealing with general departmental and administrative concerns
  • prepare departmental budgets and associated reports
  • provide professional consultative services to government and industry.

Working conditions for a University Lecturer

University lecturers may be employed on a full-time, part-time, contractual or casual basis. With further training and experience, a university lecturer may be promoted to a position of educational leadership, such as dean of a faculty, or a head of school or college principal.

Employment Opportunities for a University Lecturer

Tertiary institutions, such as universities, offer lectureships and other tertiary teaching positions. Lecturers may also be self-employed, working as consultants or in a professional practice. Competition for available positions is very strong.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,180

Future growth:

very strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 3.3%

NSW 35.2%

NT 1%

QLD 18%

SA 7.9%

TAS 1.4%

VIC 25.9%

WA 7.4%

Hours worked:

41.2

Unemployment:

average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 48.8%

Proportion of female workers 51.2%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 2.7%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 18.9%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 78.5%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 21.3%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 78.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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