Difference between Tutor and Teacher

Main Difference

The main difference between the tutor and teacher is that the tutor provides additional information to help student understand the material to be learnt in an informal or a special way rather than a teacher who provides formal learning session following the specific curriculum.


Tutor is the person who helps the students learn more efficiently depending upon student’s condition and aptitude. She or he is not confined to curriculum and goes further as per the needs of students. She/he is someone who gives additional or special instructions to help students succeed in their formal studies. According to some resource and practices, tutor is the one who instructs the students at home.


Teacher is the person who provides formal education for students typically in educational institutes like school, university, college etc. In many countries, teacher is required to be having specified professional qualifications or credentials from some recognized university. Role of a teacher may vary depending upon the cultures and the subjects she or he teaches. Usually, teacher is given specific syllabus to be covered up with a time table so she or he can go with respect to curriculum.

Key Differences

  • Teacher is typically formal person to instruct on given subject while tutor is not.
  • Unlike tutors, teacher has to go according to curriculum
  • In many countries, tutor instructs at home and teacher educates in institutes like school, college etc.
  • Teacher gives formal on-going educational instructions while tutor instructs the student privately. Shadow education is a term used for private supplementary tutoring that is offered outside the formal education system
  • In many countries, tutor is often a graduate or a lecturer in the related subject
  • In Irish and British educational institutes, tutor forms groups out of class and instructs them after the teacher
  • In Asian countries, tutor is usually private who instructs student at home – unlike teacher who does his or her duty at formal educational institutes
  • In many countries especially in Asia, persons can be tutor without any proper training unlike teachers who have to meet the special criteria of qualification or other credentials
  • There is also such thing like ‘student-to-student tutoring’ but it cannot be the same for teacher
  • If you learn something online from tutorials or online helper or assistant, she or he is a tutor – not a teacher, usually.
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