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How Do I Become an Engineering Lecturer?

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  • Written By: Rachael Cullins
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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Becoming an engineering lecturer requires education and experience in engineering. This typically includes expertise in a specific sector of the field and obtaining education beyond a four-year college degree. The meaning of the term "lecturer" differs between the United States and the United Kingdom.

If you would like to become an engineering lecturer in the United States, you should expect to teach college-level engineering courses. The position can be full- or part-time and exact responsibilities and requirements vary depending upon the university at which you teach. Lecturing usually involves only teaching, and research or publishing is typically not required. A lecturer is not tenured, meaning he has no guaranteed teaching position with the university beyond the classes he currently has a contract to teach.

Lecturers in the United States are often early-career academics. They teach early undergraduate courses, sometimes in large-group settings. If your long-term goal is to achieve permanent, tenured professor status, you might become an engineering lecturer to start your college-level academic career. It should be noted that some universities in the United States use titles such as “distinguished lecturer” to refer to high-level professors. These positions should not be confused with the typical meaning of a lecturer.

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There are more stringent requirements to become an engineering lecturer in the United Kingdom. In addition to collegiate teaching duties, the lecturer must also conduct and publish research and oversee research students. Lecturers in the United Kingdom are usually tenured. They almost always hold a doctoral degree. The lecturer title in the United Kingdom is, in general, more prestigious than the same title in the United States.

Serving as an engineering lecturer requires at least a master’s degree and most lecturers, regardless of country, hold a doctoral degree. Like most professors, engineering lecturers typically have expertise in a specific area of the field, such as mechanical engineering, physics, civil engineering, or electrical engineering. Professional experience is also useful. Part-time lecturers will likely still hold a regular position at an outside company.

If you have the necessary qualifications and experience to become an engineering lecturer and are interested in pursuing the opportunity, begin by researching colleges and universities in your area that offer engineering programs. Most institutions post available faculty positions on their website. In the United States, a lecturer may also be called an instructor or an assistant or adjunct professor. If no engineering lecturer opportunities seem to be available, contacting the head of the school’s engineering department may be worthwhile, in order to make yourself known and available for any future openings.

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