All lecturers are expected to be qualified by 2010 under the Government's Success for All Strategy, which set out ministers' ambitions to professionalise the workforce.
By next year, 90 per cent of full-time and 60 per cent of part-time teachers should be qualified. This interim target is expected to be exceeded, according to Lifelong Learning UK, which carries out the survey.
LLUK is the new organisation responsible for workforce development in post-16 education, including colleges.
Monica Deasy, its director of standards and qualifications, said: "It is a clear sign that colleges and the staff working in them recognise the need for quality in order to improve the experience of learners."
According to LLUK's figures, 95 per cent of full-timers and 62 per cent of part-timers have already gained the qualifications the need to meet the targets for 2006.
LLUK is one of 25 sector skills councils, which replaced the 72 national training organisations responsible for standards of vocational training across a range of industries.
As the organisation responsible for the training standards of the workforce which itself trains all the other workforces, LLUK is seen as lynchpin in the network of sector skills councils.
A crucial part of its role is to bring to an end the employment of thousands of unqualified lecturers in colleges by encouraging existing staff to train.
Its staff spent four months examining data produced by colleges in 200304, which showed 28,556, or 70 per cent, of full-timers are qualified, as well as 25,865, or 47 per cent of part-timers. A further 10,196 full-timers and 8,915 part-timers are working towards a qualification.
Other findings of the survey include:
* Just 37 per cent of college staff are men.
* Most staff are in their 40s and 50s, with only 19 per cent aged under 35, and 44 per cent are over 45.
* Seven per cent of male staff hold management posts, compared with 5 per cent of women.
* Of all lecturers, 3.4 per cent are Asian and 2 per cent are black.
* Forty-six per cent of college staff work in jobs other than teaching.