Tertiary Lecturer Pūkenga Whare Wānanga

Tertiary lecturers teach at universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, wānanga and other post-secondary education providers. They also carry out research and do administrative tasks. 

Tertiary lecturers may do some or all of the following:

  • prepare and give lectures, workshops and tutorials to students
  • prepare and mark assignments, essays and exams
  • give academic advice to students and supervise their research
  • do research, write reports and publish articles on their subject area
  • attend and present at conferences on their subject area.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for tertiary lecturers includes:

  • work in your field of subject expertise
  • teaching or tutoring experience.

Personal Qualities

Tertiary lecturers need to be:

  • excellent at communicating, including being able to network effectively with other academics and professionals
  • good at planning and organising
  • able to understand different cultures
  • skilled at analysing information
  • skilled at using problem-solving skills
  • approachable and open-minded
  • enquiring and accurate when carrying out research.


Tertiary lecturers need to have:

  • up-to-date knowledge of their subject area
  • teaching and lecturing skills
  • research skills, and up-to-date knowledge of research methods
  • skills in different styles of writing, such as writing courses, lectures and research
  • knowledge of assessment methods and regulations.


Tertiary lecturers:

  • usually work regular business hours
  • work in lecture theatres, classrooms, workshops, libraries, offices and laboratories
  • may teach students at work placements, such as boats, farms and kitchens
  • may travel within New Zealand and overseas to conferences and meetings, and to do research.

Tertiary Lecturers can earn around $43K-$100K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Tertiary Lecturer are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for tertiary lecturers varies depending on qualifications, experience, the size and type of institution, and collective pay agreements.

Polytechnics and institutes of technology

  • Lecturers at polytechnics and institutes of technology usually earn between $48,000 and $85,000 a year.
  • Senior lecturers usually earn up to $95,000
  • Principal lecturers can earn up to $106,000.


  • Assistant lecturers usually earn between $43,000 and $77,000 a year.
  • Lecturers usually earn between $70,000 and $100,000.
  • Senior lecturers usually earn between $88,000 and $132,000.
  • Associate professors usually earn between $116,000 and $148,000.
  • Professors can earn from $135,000 to $200,000.

Sources: University of Auckland, 'Academic Staff Remuneration Schedule', 2018-2019; University of Otago, 'Staff Collective Employment Agreement', 2018-2020; Massey University, 'Current Salary Scales - Academic Staff', 2018-2019; Canterbury University, 'Collective Employment Agreement, Tūtohu Mahi Tōpūtanga, Academic and Associated Staff', 2018-2021; University of Waikato, 'Academic staff collective employment agreement', 2018-2019; Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, 'Academic Staff Collective Agreement', 2017-2019; and Ara Institute of Canterbury, 'Collective Employment Agreement', 2016-2018.

Tertiary lecturers may move into more senior academic roles such as senior lecturer, associate professor or professor.  


Years Of Training

1-8 years of training usually required.

Entry requirements for tertiary lecturers vary depending on what and where you want to teach.


To lecture at a university you need to be studying towards or have completed a Master's degree, or have a Doctorate degree. You also need experience in teaching and research. Having published research is an advantage.

Polytechnics and institutes of technology

To lecture at a polytechnic or institute of technology you usually need a minimum of a diploma and work experience in the subject you teach.

Tertiary Lecturer