Difference Between Teacher and Professor

Main Difference – Teacher vs Professor

Teacher and Professor are both professions that deal with teaching. A teacher is a person who teaches school students. Professor is a person who teaches university students. Therefore, the main difference between teacher and professor can be termed as their place of work; a teacher works in a school whereas a professor works in a university or another tertiary educational institute. There are many other differences between these two professions, and we will be discussing them in detail.

Who is a Teacher

A teacher is a person who educates children. The term teacher is often used for a person who teaches students in a school. Therefore, a teacher can be defined as a profession that deals with primary and secondary education. A teacher usually teaches only one subject. However, primary teachers are expected to teach a variety of subjects.

A person who wishes to be a teacher should first obtain the teaching certification from a university or a college. In some countries, a bachelor’s degree in the relevant subject can suffice as a qualification. A teacher’s job doesn’t only involve teaching; it involves several duties and responsibilities. Facilitating learning, interacting with students, mentoring and instructing are some other roles played by a teacher. A teacher plays a very important role in a student’s life, and a teacher can influence a student’s life for good or bad.Difference Between Teacher and Professor

Who is a Professor

The term professor has two meanings. The word professor can either refer to a teacher in a university or a college or the highest ranking position of a university. The main difference between teacher and professor is that professors work in a tertiary education institute. Professors are generally required to complete a terminal degree in their field of expertise.

They commonly teach undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses. They also conduct original research and supervise and mentor students who are completing research for their dissertation.Main Difference - Teacher vs Professor

Difference Between Teacher and Professor


Teacher is a person who teaches, especially in a school.

Professor is either a teacher in a university or the highest ranking position in a university.

Education Level

Teachers are required to have specified professional qualifications from a university or college. Sometimes people with a Bachelor’s degree in the relevant degree can become a teacher.

Professors are required to possess a terminal degree in their relevant field.

Place of Work

Teachers work in a school.

Professors work in universities, colleges.


Teachers get a low salary than professors.

Professors get a higher salary than teachers.


Teachers are not expected to conduct research.

Professors are expected to conduct original research and mentor and supervise students’ research.

Interaction with Students

Teachers are more involved in student’s lives and interact with students.

Professors interact less with students.


Teacher is involved in primary and secondary education.

Professor is involved in tertiary education.Difference Between Teacher and Professor -infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Teaching in Da Ji Junior High School 2006-12-13” by Flickr user enixii.(CC BY-SA 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons 

“Belmans in labo” by Karen Thibaut – Transferred from nl.wikipedia to Commons. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons

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