The terms faculty and staff relate to the employees who work in a school, college, or university.
Both groups of employees keep the educational institution running.
Without the staff, the faculty would be unable to give their devoted attention to their students and provide them with the best possible education.
That’s because they’d have to spend considerable hours running the educational institution on top of teaching.
Without the faculty, the staff wouldn’t have an institution to operate.
There wouldn’t be students attending the school or university because there wouldn’t be teachers there to instruct them.
Both the staff and faculty rely on one another, but many people often mistake them for the same thing.
That isn’t the case.
Here are the key differences between a staff and a faculty in an educational environment.
Staff Vs. Faculty (What’s The Difference?)
The members who make up the faculty are different from the members who make up the staff.
Faculty members are educators.
They’re the ones who put together a curriculum and teach the students.
They provide homework, essays, and exams.
Then they grade the homework, essays, and exams either on their own time or during work hours.
Researchers and scholars also make up a school’s faculty.
When a school hires a researcher or scholar to take part in determining a particular curriculum, then that researcher or scholar becomes a member of the faculty.
Staff members work in administrative positions.
Their sole responsibility is keeping the school or college or university running.
They perform clerical tasks, provide security, and keep the building clean and maintained.
Together, both the staff and the faculty make up the employee base of an educational institution.
The main difference is that each plays a different role.
2. Specific Roles
Faculty members hold a variety of roles.
Some are teachers while others are professors.
A few are researchers while others are lecturers.
These specific people have all gone through training and received secondary education from a university.
They have a degree that allows them to teach others.
A few others may have additional certificates that allow them to teach specific groups of people.
One may be specifically geared towards teaching children.
Another may have an even more specific background in teaching disabled children.
Regardless, all faculty members share a background in education.
Staff members also hold a variety of roles.
They can be administrators who oversee all the processes involved in the institution and make executive decisions.
They may be clerical-based and handle various types of paperwork and help the institution keep the budget balanced.
Others serve a more practical purpose.
They may cook lunch for the students, keep the grounds tidy, ensure the school is sanitary, or provide security services.
Others drive buses to ensure the safe arrival and departure of students.
Staff members have a variety of backgrounds.
Some received secondary education at a university.
These individuals tend to claim administrative or clerical roles in the school.
Others went to technical school.
They may be the ones in charge of the maintenance and sanitary conditions of the school.
A few others have basic education, but they still provide a necessary service for the school.
Because they come from a variety of backgrounds, the staff tends to be more diverse than the faculty.
3. Working Hours
The working hours between the staff and the faculty are also different.
The faculty works irregular hours.
That’s because teachers often have to do the bulk of their grading and preparation outside of school hours.
Standard school hours are 8 AM until 4 PM.
Professors who work at a university can even have classes as late as 10 PM.
However, faculty members are strictly teaching during that time.
They may be able to squeeze in some grading or preparation during their lunch hours, but that’s only a single hour.
Most teachers at primary school teach at least six classes.
Professors can sometimes teach a smaller number, but they usually fill their extra time with research or their own interests.
Because the bulk of their time is in class, teachers have no choice but to bring home a lot of their work.
This means that their work hours are irregular.
They don’t know how long it’s going to take to grade essays or tests.
It also isn’t consistent.
During exam week, they can expect to work a lot at home.
During standard weeks, only a day or two may require them to work at home.
Since they’re never certain of their schedule, they don’t have regular working hours.
That isn’t the case for staff members.
Work Hours For Staff Members
Staff members work a specific set of hours.
They operate only while the school is in operation.
That said, they do tend to arrive before faculty members.
Since they’re responsible for the operation of the school, they have to make sure that it’s operating by the time the students and faculty arrive.
That means turning on the lights, ensuring the HVAC system is working, cleaning the school, printing the day’s newsletter, handing out mail to the faculty, and preparing the cafeteria for cooking and service.
Some members of the staff will also work after school hours.
The school may need more cleaning or maintenance.
The cafeteria may need more supplies.
Buses may need fuel-ups and maintenance.
The difference, however, is that staff members are on a set schedule.
Once it pushes past that schedule, they no longer have to work.
Some will have the option to work for overtime pay, but since not all institutions honor overtime pay, most tend to stick to working during the operational hours of the school.
Unlike faculty members, staff members know their schedules.
They know that they’re working from 7 AM until 5 PM.
They know that they’re not bringing their work home with them.
Because of this, staff members have a regular working schedule.
Both faculty members and staff members have different working hours.
3. Working Conditions
The conditions in which both faculty members and staff members work are also different.
Faculty members primarily work with students.
Their classrooms are loud and full of people.
They also have stressors unique to them.
They have to ensure that all their students are performing well.
If a student isn’t performing well, then they have to spend extra time working with that student.
Professors have slightly different working conditions.
While they also teach a large number of students, they tend to let the students come to them if they need additional help rather than approaching them.
Professors of various sciences also have to lead various experiments in the laboratory.
Because of that, their working conditions are sometimes dangerous since they’re surrounded by various chemicals and fire hazards.
Faculty members are around students all day and noise all day, so they have exhausting working conditions.
Working Conditions For Staff Members
Staff members have fewer interactions with students.
Their working conditions are dependent on their job.
Clerical staff members have working conditions that surround a desk job.
They answer calls, perform paperwork, and do several other tasks.
Their office is relatively quiet, but the work can be tedious.
Maintenance and sanitary staff members are often around chemicals and fumes.
Their working conditions are poorer than clerical and administrative staff members.
It’s also far more physical.
Even staff members who are in charge of cooking and providing lunches are on their feet for a considerable portion of the day.
The working conditions between the faculty and the staff are vastly different.
The faculty works with students and is a part of student life whereas the staff deals directly with their tasks in quieter or more physically demanding conditions.
4. Educational Requirements
Another important difference between the faculty and the staff in an educational institution is the educational requirement for each role.
Faculty members need a degree in education to work.
The level of education may also have other requirements.
For example, if one intends to be a professor, then one needs a doctorate instead of a basic teaching degree.
Since it costs more to go to school as a teacher, many teachers graduate with a significant amount of debt.
Professors have even more debt since they’re in school longer.
That said, they receive a thorough education that gives them techniques they can use to better educate children and college-aged students.
Professors tend to have an industry-level education about their specific background.
Not only do they teach, but they’re also involved in various research programs to further their education and discover new things.
Teachers also have to continue their own education to ensure they’re teaching the latest information about certain subjects.
As a faculty member, education never truly ends.
Educational Requirements For Staff Members
A staff member doesn’t have to consistently attend lectures to stay on top of certain topics.
Some staff members only need a high school diploma.
That’s because most of the tasks that the staff takes care of are tasks that almost anyone can perform.
At most, staff members need a high school diploma that shows that they’re able to read, write, and perform math.
Administrative staff members usually need some form of degree.
It may be in communication, business, education, or any related degree.
That’s because the administrative staff acts as the business owners.
They’re the ones in charge of keeping the school open.
They instruct both the faculty and the staff on how to perform and what to do in certain cases.
They’re in charge of hiring new faculty members and staff members.
It’s also up to them to fire an individual if they’re not performing well enough for the school.
It takes a higher level of knowledge and critical thinking to be able to run a school.
That’s why administrative staff requires a degree.
Service-based staff members like janitors and maintenance often need technical training.
Their certification demonstrates their ability to handle HVAC systems, electrical systems, and plumbing systems.
Between the faculty and staff, each one requires different levels of education.
One of the biggest differences between the faculty and the staff of an educational institution is their income.
The average salary of a teacher in the United States is $60,477.
However, it differs largely based on the state.
The average salary of a professor in the United States is $101,810.
That number also varies based on the university and whether the professor is operating part-time or full-time.
Comparing this to some staff roles, you can see a clear difference.
The average salary of an administrator is $38,526 a year.
The principal of a school has an average salary of $110,488 a year.
While most basic administrative jobs make less than teachers, a principal can earn potentially more than even a professor.
School janitors have an average salary of $34,260 a year.
Clearly, there’s a significant difference in the income that each person receives.
A member of the faculty is typically going to earn more than a member of the staff.
That makes sense since the faculty comes with a higher level of education.
They took on debt to be able to teach students and make the school a preferred choice among parents to send their children.
Staff members either took on less debt or no debt at all to fill their positions.
The principal is the highest earner since they have to combine various skills to do their job.
They need to have a business mindset, be able to manage several different aspects of the school, and provide great communication that applies to students, parents, employees, and school boards.
The income difference between faculty members and staff members favors the faculty.
What Are The Different Levels Of Faculty?
Like any other role, there are different tiers within a faculty.
The first tier is the basic, and lowest, rung of the faculty ladder.
They’re the teachers.
Teachers receive basic educational degrees at a university, then teach the students according to a curriculum.
The second tier is teachers who have a special degree or a degree for a specific group of students.
These are teachers who can teach students who have special needs, physical disabilities, or have mental disabilities.
Because they are trained for a specific role, and a complex one at that, they often receive more pay than standard teachers.
The next tier belongs to researchers and lecturers.
These are individuals who have gone through university, then went on to perform their own research.
They discovered results, wrote a book or report about it, and are now an expert on that topic.
They often continue to perform research to discover more information and increase their knowledge on that specific topic.
Researchers and lecturers sometimes take on a master’s degree to better learn about their specific industry.
The top of the tier is a professor or doctor.
Professors, or doctors, received a doctorate in education.
They usually choose a specific department or course in which they specialize.
For example, they may have a doctorate in organic chemistry that allows them to teach others about organic chemistry in a university setting.
Professors are at the top of the tier because they also participate in research.
They research topics that they’re interested in while teaching classes.
Sometimes a professor might also become a lecturer if they can fit it into their schedules.
A faculty can sometimes have several different tiers within it.
It starts with a teacher and works its way up to a professor.
What Are The Different Levels Of A Staff?
Like a faculty, there’s also a tier system within a staff.
The bottom tier belongs to basic clerical staff.
They’re the ones who do most of the paperwork and take care of a lot of the grunt work.
Bus drivers and cafeteria workers also fit into this category.
The next tier is the janitors and maintenance staff.
They keep the school a healthy and safe place to be.
They require technical knowledge and so earn higher pay.
The final tier is the top administrators.
That includes roles like a dean, president, or principal.
These are the people who make the big decisions and ensure all the pieces are working together.
They’re paid the most because they have the most responsibilities.
Like a faculty, the staff also has a tier of workers within it based on their tasks and income.
The bottom starts with those who perform generic tasks and ends with those responsible for making executive decisions.
While faculty and staff work together to make an educational institution a safe and productive place to learn, there are a few differences between them.
Faculty members require more education and thus earn more than staff members.
Staff members keep the school running and its topmost member, the president or principal, tends to earn the most out of everyone.
That said, both roles have their own tier within them that determines how much they earn and who qualifies for the position.