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Instructor vs. Professor: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 31, 2023
An instructor is a teacher or trainer in various contexts, while a professor is an academic teacher, often with a high rank in a university.

Key Differences

An instructor is typically someone who teaches or trains in a specific field, often at educational institutions or training centers. A professor, however, is a higher-ranking academic teacher, usually employed by a university or college, often involved in research.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
Instructors can operate in various educational settings, including schools, colleges, or specialized training facilities. Professors are primarily found in higher education institutions and are often required to have a doctoral degree.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
An instructor's role may focus more on teaching and practical training. In contrast, a professor's role includes not only teaching but also conducting research and contributing to scholarly works.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 31, 2023
Instructors may or may not hold advanced degrees, depending on their field and the requirements of their position. Professors usually have extensive academic qualifications and experience in their field of expertise.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
The term "instructor" is often more general and can apply to various teaching roles, while "professor" is a specific academic title that comes with certain qualifications and responsibilities in a university setting.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Employment Setting

Various educational and training settings
Primarily universities and colleges
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Qualifications

Varies, not always requiring advanced degrees
Usually requires a doctoral degree
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Primary Role

Teaching and practical training
Teaching, research, and academic contributions
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 31, 2023

Academic Rank

General term for teachers, no specific rank
Higher academic rank in educational institutions
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Field of Operation

Can teach in a wide range of subjects
Typically specialized in a specific academic field
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023
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Instructor and Professor Definitions

Instructor

Can be a teacher in schools, colleges, or specialized institutes.
She's an English instructor at the community college.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Professor

Often involved in conducting and publishing research.
Our biology professor is leading a study on marine ecosystems.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Instructor

Not necessarily holding a high academic title.
The fitness instructor has a certification in personal training.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 01, 2023

Professor

A high-ranking academic teacher in a university.
The professor published a groundbreaking research paper.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Instructor

A person who teaches a specific subject or skill.
The yoga instructor led a calming session.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Professor

Holds a doctoral degree or equivalent qualification.
The history professor at our university has a Ph.D. in Ancient History.
Harlon Moss
Dec 01, 2023

Instructor

Often associated with training in practical skills.
Our driving instructor is very patient.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 01, 2023

Professor

Engages in scholarly teaching and academic duties.
The professor is advising several doctoral students.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Instructor

Focuses on delivering knowledge or skills in a specific area.
The ski instructor showed us the basics of skiing.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 01, 2023

Professor

May hold a tenured position in a higher education institution.
She became a tenured professor last year.
Harlon Moss
Dec 01, 2023

Instructor

One who instructs; a teacher.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Professor

A college or university teacher who ranks above an associate professor.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Instructor

A college or university teacher who ranks below an assistant professor.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Professor

A teacher or instructor.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Instructor

One who instructs; a teacher.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Instructor

One who instructs; one who imparts knowledge to another; a teacher.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Instructor

A person whose occupation is teaching
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

FAQs

Do instructors conduct research?

It's less common; their primary role is teaching or training.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

What qualifications do professors typically have?

Professors usually have a doctoral degree or similar qualifications.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 31, 2023

Do instructors need a specific degree?

It varies; some instructor positions require specific degrees or certifications.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Do professors have administrative responsibilities?

Often, especially if they hold senior positions.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

Can an instructor also be a professor?

Yes, if they meet the qualifications and are employed by a university.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

What subjects can professors teach?

Professors teach specialized subjects, often in their field of research.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Is being an instructor a full-time job?

It can be, but many instructors work part-time or on a contractual basis.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

What defines an instructor?

An instructor is a teacher, often focused on practical training.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Are all university teachers professors?

No, there are different academic ranks, and not all are professors.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Can a professor teach in non-university settings?

Yes, but they are typically associated with universities.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Can professors have careers outside academia?

Yes, some professors engage in consulting, writing, or other professional activities.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

How does one become a professor?

Through advanced education, research experience, and academic achievement.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

Are instructors involved in policymaking in education?

Generally, they focus more on teaching than on administrative roles.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

What is the main focus of an instructor's role?

Teaching and providing practical training in their subject area.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

What skills are important for an instructor?

Strong teaching abilities, expertise in their subject, and often practical skills.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Is experience important for instructors?

Yes, practical experience is often key in instructional roles.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Do professors need to publish work?

Yes, publishing scholarly work is a significant part of a professor's career.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 31, 2023

Can instructors be found in online education platforms?

Yes, many instructors teach through online courses and platforms.
Sara Rehman
Dec 31, 2023

Are all professors tenured?

No, tenure is granted to professors after a certain period and upon meeting specific criteria.
Janet White
Dec 31, 2023

What role do professors play in academia?

They are key in teaching, research, and contributing to academic knowledge.
Harlon Moss
Dec 31, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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