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University / VET Lecturer

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to 2016-17: 10 000 < 25 000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings -- University: > $1401 / VET: $1141 to 1400 (Source: DEEWR Australian Jobs 2012:
Brief As a lecturer or tutor you get to work in the dynamic world of education, teaching your speciality subject to a range of post secondary students.

There are currently around 2,500 University Lecturers and tutors employed in South Australia. Over half are employed full-time and most work in the education industry. Over half of persons in this occupation are male and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has an older age profile with more than half of lecturers and tutors aged 45 years or older.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: University / VET Lecturer

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Teaching everything from acting to zoology University lecturers and tutors are employed by tertiary and VET institutions primarily to design and deliver education and training programs for students. University lecturers and tutors teach in tertiary institutions and conduct research in their area of speciality. Vocational education and training lecturers and tutors teach in TAFE colleges and private training institutions in a host of areas including business, communications, IT, the trades, vocational, technical or skilled crafts. Both University and VET lecturers prepare, deliver, mark and grade assignments. They may also develop new courses and provide consultancy services to industry. University tutors assist lecturers in teaching undergraduate students, usually working with small groups of students and reinforcing material covered in the lectures.

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Education Requirements

Currently, there are 93% of Lecturers and tutors have Bachelor Degrees or higher qualifications; 2% have Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualifications.

To become successful in this career post graduate qualifications and / or professional training is necessary. Vocational education and training lecturers are required to be highly skilled in their area of expertise.

Potential university lecturers start out with a four year undergraduate degree and then progress to graduate studies. They then proceed to a Masters program, which is usually two years, full time study. A doctorate degree requires at least another two years of full time study, depending on the chosen field.

VET instructors need up to date industry experience or trade qualifications. They are also required to have a Training and Assessment qualification.

TAFE SA offers the following courses that may help you find employment in this occupation:
Certificate IV in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment and Training
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
Diploma of Training Design and Development
Diploma of Vocational Education and Training
Vocational Certificate in Management (Learning)
Vocational Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice
Vocational Graduate Diploma of Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Leadership.

Career Path

Job prospects can be affected by the level of public funding and student demand. There is a current trend toward more permanent employment positions for university lecturers. Employment prospects in the tertiary sector are average, with little growth predicted based on the funding cuts to higher education. Demand for VET lecturers is dependent on the subject area in question. For example, there is now a greater demand for lecturers in the field of information technology than in engine reconditioning.



Nature of the Job

University lecturers teach students and supervise graduate students who are undertaking research, conduct research studies in the area of their specialisation, publish findings in books or professional journals and may also serve on committees regarding curriculum revision and development of administrative processes. The key to working in the hallowed halls of academia is to be interested in all current developments in your field of study. As an academic you have a real chance to work at the cutting edge of your field both nationally and internationally and have access to the latest information. You have a real opportunity to make a difference no matter what your area of expertise. TAFE and other VET lecturers teach courses in which they have up-to-date industry experience. They prepare and deliver training and assess students' competencies within their area of expertise.

Typical Physical Working Environment

Great teaching skills are imperative in this career, and this includes having the ability to stand before large groups of people and deliver lessons with confidence and clarity. You will also need to have an interest in people of all ages and backgrounds and exhibit patience when explaining your subject matter to those who may be absolute beginners. For those who enjoy a campus lifestyle, regular teaching hours and a challenging intellectual environment, this is a very rewarding profession. You are constantly teaching active minds and this can be very stimulating. Working with post-graduate students may stop you from getting complacent and there are great opportunities for rigorous intellectual debate.

Typical Occupational Example

Lecturers and tutors work in classrooms and lecture theatres. They may be required to work on weekends and evenings. During school holidays, lecturers may undertake research or assume teaching preparation or administrative duties, particularly in the case of university lecturers. There are opportunities to travel nationally and internationally for conferences. Work may be full time or part time. Many part time tutors are students undertaking postgraduate training at the Honours, Masters or PhD level. VET lecturers usually have prior industry experience in their field of expertise.

For further information, contact:

National Tertiary Education Union SA Branch
15 Paxton's Walk
Palais Apartment Complex
281 North Tce, Adelaide SA 5000
Ph: (08) 8227 2384
Fax: (08) 8227 0997
Internet Address:

Earning Potential

Annual salaries range from $30,000 to $50,000 for tutors and lecturers at the beginning of their career. Professorial salaries can go higher than $99,000 per year. Salaries for VET lecturers begin around $30,000 and may go as high as $75,000.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online