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 an 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 and supervisory skills
  • Organisational skills and attention to detail
  • 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:

  • 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 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:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 3.6%

NSW 30.4%

NT 0.2%

QLD 19.6%

SA 7.4%

VIC 29.3%

WA 7.5%

TAS 2%

Hours worked:



Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 49%

Female 51%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 14.2%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 1.1%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 1.3%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 41.9%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 41.2%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

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

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