Do you hotline your college teachers a professor or a lecturer? Some professors prefer khổng lồ drop the formalities và just go with a “Mr.,” “Ms.,” or “Mrs.” or just drop all the honorifics & go on a first-name basis with their students. However, some professors và lecturers will want to lớn uphold classroom formalities & expect their students to lớn address them as such.

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But what is the difference between all the terms used in an academic institution? Your college or post-graduate teacher can be a Mr. Smith, Dr. Smith, Professor Smith, or simply John. We define the terms “teacher,” “lecturer,” & “professor” & explain the key differences among them.

What Is a Teacher?

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In the most general definition, a teacher is someone who helps students learn và gain knowledge for a certain skill or field of study. Anyone can be a teacher; as long as they help you learn in either a formal or informal setting, then they are technically a teacher.

The term “teacher” is an umbrella term for anyone who teaches. This includes:

Teachers – those who are licensed khổng lồ teach in primary và secondary schools;Tutors – people who are paid to give private lessons outside of school hours;Professors – instructors in colleges and universities;Instructors – people who focus more on practical skills than academic concepts (e.g. Driving instructor, yoga instructor);Coach – someone who teaches skills most commonly used in sports (e.g. Basketball coach);Trainer – people who teach skills usually inside the workplace;Governess – a woman who teaches young children basic skills before entering formal education.

So, professors and lecturers can be considered teachers, too. However, because the term “teacher” is too general, it does not capture the aspect of their titles which suggests a higher cấp độ of learning.

What Is a Lecturer?

A lecturer refers to lớn a post-secondary teacher who teaches in a college or university. They can teach both undergraduate & post-graduate students. Unlike professors, they bởi vì not need a Master’s or Ph.D. Lớn teach. What they bring khổng lồ the table, however, is their working experience in the field which gives them the qualifications to teach a certain course.

Universities hire lecturers based on their careers, which they continue khổng lồ pursue despite teaching in a university. This means that few (or barely any) lecturers are ever full-time teachers in the university. Their teaching hours vary depending on their schedule, which means they are part-time lecturers và get paid less than those who teach full-time.

What Is a Professor?

A professor is also a post-secondary teacher who teaches undergrads & post-grads in any higher institution. However, a professor teaches students within their field of academia, which they have been studying for many years. Because their career is linked to the university và they don’t have jobs outside the institution, it’s required that they have a Master’s or Ph.D. In their field.

Most professors work full-time in the university; newer professors will be monitored for their performance, while older professors who have proven their skill in their field may be given tenure. Also, aside from teaching, professors have the job of doing research in their field that can further their specialization & publish their findings in academic journals.

Difference Between Lecturer và Professor

Educational Background

Professors must have a Master’s Degree, Ph.D., or any degree related khổng lồ their field higher than a college diploma. A professor can be a part-time professor if they are still working on their Ph.D. & need time to lớn work on their diploma. Afterward, they can become full-time professors & focus on both teaching và research.

Lecturers, however, have a more flexible educational requirement. Since they have careers in their field outside of the academe, they have their experience to mô tả with their students. So, in a way, their lectures are based on more applied studies rather than concepts written in books. While most lecturers go on lớn have a Master’s degree, some lecturers show exceptional talent và skill even with just a college diploma. Universities can make exceptions for them, so they can go on lớn be a lecturer without needing further studies.

Job Description

Lecturers work part-time. This means they have a regular job, then conduct classes revolving around that work schedule. If they have a regular nine-to-five job, this means they teach at night or on the weekends. However, most lecturers are usually CEOs, consultants, or high-ranking employees in their field, so they have the flexibility to hold classes at regular hours on certain days.

Lecturers aren’t required to publish papers like professors since their focus is on their career. However, they may have published articles or conducted seminars independently because of their job. They may teach certain concepts taken from the syllabus or the book, but they usually teach a specialization related khổng lồ their job. Because they are part-time, they bởi vì not have khổng lồ participate in administrative, departmental, or committee-related matters in the university.

Professors, however, teach both the general courses related khổng lồ their field and the specialized classes for majors in their area. Because they are full-time, their class schedules aren’t revolved around their availability. They are also expected to bởi research & publish in an academic journal. They may also have khổng lồ be active in administration and departmental concerns.

Some professors may also teach more classes than others who focus more on research. Other professors may also be focused on research altogether và not teach classes. A research associate or research faculty member, for example, will not be required to lớn teach but may be required lớn meet a certain amount of published research. They won’t receive tenure, but they can be paid almost as much as a teaching professor does.


Because lecturers are only part-time, they receive lower salaries than full-time professors. The average annual salary of a lecturer in the United States is $56,712, while a full-time professor is $102,402. Associate professors also earn more than lecturers with an annual salary of $79,654. However, take cảnh báo that lecturers have a professional career, và their stint as lecturers is only part-time. This means that their overall income is much more than their lecturer salary.

Visiting Scholar

Both lecturers and professors may have what is generally known as a visiting scholar. This can be a visiting lecturer or a visiting professor who the university can invite to teach for a short-term period before going back lớn their regular routine.

For lecturers, this can be a an expert professional in the field invited to tóm tắt their insight on the industry. It can be an economist known for analyzing the effects of local governments on the economy invited lớn teach economics & political science majors. Or, it can be an award-winning director sharing his craft with film students. In both cases, both lecturers may not have experience teaching, but their careers have provided them with a lot of insight that may be valuable for students.

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Visiting professors, on the other hand, can be a professor from a different institution invited to teach a specialization that professors in another university vày not have. For example, a literature professor who specializes in LGBT+ Literature may be invited lớn teach a class of literature majors on contemporary literature. Or, a professor in the United States specializing in the history of foreign relations between the US and nhật bản may be invited to spend a term or two teaching their specialization in a Japanese university.