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Lecturer vs Professor: Difference, Job Profile and Which is Best?

Lecturer vs Professor: The terms “Lecturer” and “Professor” are often used interchangeably, but it is essential to recognize substantial differences between the two. Despite both roles existing within the same academic context, significant distinctions exist in the responsibilities and duties of lecturers and professors. To grasp these disparities, one must consider factors like qualifications, duties, and opportunities that set apart these two roles. For an in-depth exploration of the variances between “Lecturer” and “Professor,” please refer to the provided article.

Differences Between Lecturer vs Professor

In the following section, candidates will find a comparative study of Lecturer vs Professor on parameters that create the distinction between these two posts. Some of the crucial differences between Lecturer vs Professor are qualification, position and rank, responsibilities, career progression, salary and so on. Here’s a breakdown of these essential differences that are vital factors when evaluating which post is better Lecturer or Professor

Lecturer vs Professor Position and Rank

  • Lecturer: In India, a lecturer is typically an entry-level position in academia. It is often a temporary or contractual appointment, and the lecturer may be referred to as an Assistant Professor as well. They usually hold a master’s degree or a doctoral degree, but they may not have obtained a permanent faculty position.
  • Professor: In India, the rank of professor is a higher academic position that is attained after gaining extensive experience and expertise in a specific field. Professors are generally appointed on a permanent basis and are regarded as senior members of the faculty. They hold a doctoral degree and have made significant contributions to research, teaching, and academic administration.

Lecturer vs Professor Qualifications

  • Lecturer: To become a lecturer in India, a candidate typically needs a master’s degree in the relevant field. However, some institutions may require a doctoral degree (PhD) for lecturer positions along with clearing UGC NET, CSIR NET or other equivalent exams.
  • Professor: To become a professor in India, a candidate usually needs a doctoral degree (PhD) in the relevant field along with qualifications including a Lecturer/ Assistant Professor and Associate Professor. In addition to this degree, significant research experience and a strong publication record are generally expected.

Lecturer vs Professor Responsibilities

  • Lecturer: Lecturers in India primarily focus on teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students. Their responsibilities include preparing and delivering lectures, conducting tutorials, grading assignments, and assisting in academic activities related to teaching. Lecturers may also engage in research activities, but teaching is typically their main emphasis.
  • Professor: Professors in India have broader responsibilities that encompass teaching, research, and academic administration. They are expected to deliver lectures at advanced levels, guide research students (such as PhD scholars), publish research papers in reputed journals, and contribute to the development of the institution’s academic programs. Professors also take on administrative roles, such as heading departments, serving on academic committees, and providing mentorship to junior faculty members.

Lecturer vs Professor Career Progression

  • Lecturer: In terms of career progression, lecturers in India can aspire to become Associate Professors after meeting certain criteria, including gaining teaching experience, publishing research papers, and fulfilling eligibility requirements set by universities or regulatory bodies. Assistant Professors have higher responsibilities and are eligible for promotions based on their experience, research contributions, and performance.
  • Professor: The position of a professor is considered a senior and prestigious role in academia. To become a professor in India, lecturers need to demonstrate significant research contributions, a strong publication record, and academic leadership. The promotion to the position of professor is typically based on stringent criteria, including research publications, research grants, academic reputation, and years of experience.

Lecturer vs Professor Salary and Benefits

  • Lecturer: As per the 7th Central Pay Commission, the salary of a lecturer in India at the entry-level is INR 57700. However, the salary can vary depending on factors such as qualifications, experience, and the institution’s pay scale.
  • Professor: As per the 7th Central Pay Commission, the salary of a lecturer in India at the entry-level is INR 144200. Along with a higher base salary, they may receive additional allowances, research grants, and other perks.

Lecturer vs Professor Research Opportunities and Funding

  • Lecturer: Lecturers in India may have limited research opportunities, particularly if they are primarily focused on teaching responsibilities. However, they can still engage in research activities by collaborating with other researchers, pursuing independent research projects, or securing research grants.
  • Professor: Professors have more extensive research opportunities and are expected to actively contribute to their field of expertise. They have access to research funding, institutional resources, and collaborations both nationally and internationally.

Lecturer vs Professor Teaching Load and Autonomy

  • Lecturer: Lecturers in India generally have a higher teaching load compared to professors. They may have to teach multiple courses and handle administrative responsibilities related to teaching, such as curriculum development and assessment. However, lecturers may have more flexibility in choosing teaching methods and instructional materials.
  • Professor: Professors usually have a relatively lower teaching load, allowing them to dedicate more time to research and academic leadership activities. They may have the autonomy to design specialized courses and have a greater influence on curriculum development.

Lecturer vs Professor Recognition and Prestige

  • Lecturer: While lecturers play a crucial role in imparting knowledge and shaping students’ academic journey, the recognition and prestige associated with the position may be comparatively lower than that of a professor.
  • Professor: Professors are highly regarded in the academic community and are seen as experts in their respective fields. They often receive greater recognition for their research contributions, publications, and academic leadership roles.

Lecturer vs Professor Career Flexibility

  • Lecturer: Lecturers may have more flexibility in terms of mobility and exploring opportunities in different institutions. As contractual or temporary positions, they can pursue positions in multiple universities or choose to transition to other career paths.
  • Professor: Professors, being in more senior positions, generally have a stronger association with a specific institution and may have limited mobility. However, they may have opportunities to collaborate with other institutions, attend conferences, and engage in international research collaborations.

Lecturer vs Professor- Which is best?

Determining which position is better depends on individual goals, career aspirations, and personal circumstances. It’s important to note that the evaluation of “better” is subjective and can vary depending on individual preferences and career goals when comparing a Lecturer position with the post of Professor. Moreover, for a fresher, the post of a lecturer is the only option and they need to progress in their career to become a professor in later years. As the post of Professor is higher than that of a Lecturer, therefore the career progression will eventually take a Lecturer to the post of Professor with experience, excellence and perseverance.


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What is the difference between a lecturer and a professor?

The main differences lie in their qualifications, position and rank, responsibilities, career progression, salary, research opportunities, teaching load, recognition, and career flexibility.

What qualifications are required to become a lecturer?

Typically, a master's degree in the relevant field is required, although some institutions may require a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) along with clearing UGC NET, CSIR NET, or equivalent exams.

What qualifications are required to become a professor?

To become a professor, a candidate usually needs a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in the relevant field, along with qualifications of a Lecturer/Assistant Professor and Associate Professor. Significant research experience and a strong publication record are also generally expected.

What is the salary difference between lecturers and professors?

The salary of a lecturer in India at the entry level is INR 57,700, whereas the salary of a professor at the entry level is INR 1,44,200, as per the 7th Central Pay Commission.

About the Author

I'm a content writer at Adda247, specializing in blog writing for National and State Level Competitive Government Exams for the Teaching Vertical. I research and curate genuine information to create engaging and authenticate articles. My goal is to provide valuable resources for aspiring candidates while promoting Adda247's mission.


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