Instructor vs Professor
Two words we often encounter as students are instructor and professor. While we are comfortable with the more generic word teacher as a person who teaches, instructor and professor are also commonly used words. Yes, in a sense a professor is an instructor as he too lectures students but he is a senior teacher in a college who has numerous other responsibilities. On the other hand, an instructor is a person who could be a person standing in a motor driving school trying to explain the process of driving to the students, or could be a senior faculty explaining the concepts of physics to students in college. There are other differences between a professor and an instructor that will be talked about in this article.
Instructor refers to a person who gives instructions. This is why we have an instructor when we go for hot air ballooning, skydiving, and scuba diving or any other adventurous activity outdoors. In such endeavors, the role of an instructor is to keep participants away from dangers by avoiding certain actions and activities. Thus, instructor is not just a person giving practical training, but he also performs the role of a person who keeps those he gives training safe and secure through his instructions.
However, the word instructor is not limited to outdoor and thrilling activities, as a simple teacher in an elementary class in a school is also referred to as an instructor. What is intriguing is to see a very senior faculty in a college or a university being referred to as an instructor. Thus, a professor, which is a very senior rank and title for a teacher in a college, can be called an instructor.
Professor is the senior most title a teacher can hope to attain when he joins a college as a faculty. Most colleges and universities take in as teachers the people who have completed their thesis or, in other words, have obtained their doctoral degree. The starting title in a college as a faculty is assistant professor though the person is no one’s assistant. Assistant professor has no tenure which implies that he is not permanent. It depends upon his performance as a teacher and as verified by an independent team. If he gets a promotion after teaching for 4-5 years, he gets tenure and also the next higher rank of associate professor. It is only after teaching for another 5-6 years that an associate professor is elevated to the rank of professor. Thus, professor is the senior most title for a teacher in a college or university.
What is the difference between Instructor and Professor?
• Instructor could be a teacher in a school or he could be a bungee jump instructor. This means that any person who guides or instructs can be referred to as an instructor.
• It is common to see even teachers in colleges and universities being referred to as instructors
• Thus, a professor is also an instructor in layman’s terms though he is an expert in his field of study
• Professor is the highest possible rank or title for a faculty in a college or university while the instructor is a generic term for anyone who guides or instructs