Difference Between Faculty and Staff

The main difference between faculty and staff is that the word faculty essentially means the members of the academic staff comprising of teachers, lecturers or professors in an educational institution while the word staff means all the members of any organization.

Most often, staff is used as a synonym for faculty in several educational institution since the word staff can be used in a general sense to mean the members of a certain institution or an organization. Hence, creating confusion as to which word suits proper in correct usage. Therefore, specifically in the educational sector, one should use the word faculty to mean the teaching staff in that instead of using the word ‘staff’ alone on itself.

Key Areas Covered

1. What Does Faculty Mean
     – Definition, Usage, Members
2. What Does Staff Mean
     – Definition, Usage, Members
3. What is the Similarity Between Faculty and Staff
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Faculty and Staff
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Education, Organisations, Faculty, Staff, Words

Difference Between Faculty and Staff - Comparison Summary

What Does Faculty Mean

Faculty necessarily means “the teaching and administrative staff and those members of the administration having academic rank in an educational institution”. Thus, faculty necessarily relates to the professionals in the academic field or educators whose main responsibility is the dissemination of knowledge to the students.

Thus, the teaching staff in a school, university or any private educational institution is known as the faculty. Therefore, a faculty includes teachers, instructors, lecturers, professors, researchers, etc. who are dedicated to teaching and imparting knowledge to students in the educational institution. They are specialized in various fields of study and, they teach different subjects.

Main Difference - Faculty vs Staff

Figure 1: Faculty

In addition, in the higher education sector, faculty refers to “a division within a university or college comprising one subject area or a number of related subject areas”. Thus, in a university or a college, there are a number of faculties namely, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Commerce etc.

Nevertheless, there are ample instances where the word staff is used to indicate teachers, especially in schools. In this instance, it should be noted that the word ‘staff’ indicates the ‘teaching staff’ of the school.

What Does Staff Mean

Staff is a general word we can use to mean “the officers chiefly responsible for the internal operations of an institution or business” or in brief, “all the people employed by a particular organization.”

Therefore, staff typically refers to employees of any organization, and it can be sub-divided according to the functional divisions of the organization. For example, in an organization, there are the administrative staff, accounts staff, counselling staff, etc. Their main aim is to perform administrative and related functions of the organization.

Difference Between Faculty and Staff

Figure 2: Staff Ranking in a Company

Moreover, the word staff may also refer to certain people hired in a university. Therefore, within a university, there are two groups namely academic staff and general staff. Here, the academic staff also refers to the faculty, while general staff refers to the employees working for administration purposes. They are the staff responsible for all administrative purposes related to the university.

Similarity Between Faculty and Staff

Both indicate some members or staff responsible for performing a specific function of that particular institute or organization.

Difference Between Faculty and Staff


Faculty necessarily refers to the academic professionals in an educational institution, whose main responsibility is to teach or impart knowledge to students. Staff, on the other hand, generally refer to all the members of a particular organization or a business.


Faculty necessarily consist of academic professionals or educators such as teachers, instructors, lecturers, professors, doctors, researchers, lab assistants, demonstrators, etc. On the contrary, a staff usually consist of professionals who are experts in a specific organization or business institution. For example, the staff of the administrative sector of a company or organization includes administrative officers, managers, secretary, registrar, accountants, clerks, etc

Working Hours

The educators or the members of the faculty do not have specified working hours since their teaching schedules vary. However, the staff members in a company or an organization have regular and specified working hours.


The salary of the faculty is based on their educational rank such as the lecturers, assistant lectures, professors, etc. The salary of the staff is based on their position or designation in the company.


The two words faculty and staff are often used interchangeably, making it hard to distinguish between the two. However, these two words have a distinct difference. The faculty necessarily refers to the educators of a certain educational institute whereas staff is a general term which refers to all the members employed in an organization or a company. Therefore, this is the major difference between faculty and staff.

Image Courtesy:

1. “StateLibQld 2 208065 First staff of Warwick State High School, 1912” By Item is held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Staff Organisation Diagram, 1896” By Lewis, J. Slater – Commercial Organization of Factories. Spon, 1896., (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Upen

Upen, BA (Honours) in Languages and Linguistics, has academic experiences and knowledge on international relations and politics. Her academic interests are English language, European and Oriental Languages, Internal Affairs and International Politics, and Psychology.

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