Australia’s most trusted (and least trusted) professions are…

The idea of trust is a strange one. Most of us are willing to place our lives in the hands

The idea of trust is a strange one. Most of us are willing to place our lives in the hands of a doctor, but wouldn’t believe a word an insurance salesman says.

Which is why the annual Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey is always so fascinating: it’s a glimpse into how our minds work; how willing we are to judge a person’s trustworthiness based on their work.

Nurses take out the top position, which they have held without fail for the 22 years since they were introduced to the survey.

Car salesmen, on the other hand, have ranked at the bottom for the past 35 years.

While the first and last places are far from surprising, there have been some interesting changes from previous years.

  1. Nurses
  2. Pharmacists
  3. Doctors
  4. Engineers
  5. School teachers
  6. Dentists
  7. Police
  8. High Court judges
  9. State Supreme Court judges
  10. University lecturers
  11. Accountants
  12. Public servants
  13. Lawyers
  14. Ministers of Religion
  15. Public opinion pollsters
  16. Bank managers
  17. Financial planners
  18. Directors of public companies
  19. Business executives
  20. Talk-back radio announcers
  21. Newspaper journalists
  22. TV reporters
  23. Federal MPs
  24. State MP
  25. Stockbrokers
  26. Union leaders
  27. Insurance brokers
  28. Real estate agents
  29. Advertising people
  30. Car salesmen

Some of the most interesting changes are the result of recent scandals in the news. Ministers of Religion dropped four points and hit a record low.

Social commentator Bernard Salt told The New Daily this was a likely the result of the recent royal commissions into corruption and sexual abuse.

“It’s a shame because I think the overwhelming majority of religious ministers do a great job. But unfortunately the behaviour of some over the years has tarnished the entire profession.”

Bank managers have also fallen considerably from Australia’s graces.

Meanwhile, police, engineers and university lecturers have all risen this year.

Mr Salt said the high rankings for health professionals made perfect sense.

“At the top of the list has got to be the professions that you’re entrusting your life to, or your wellness to,” he said.

Do you agree with these rankings? Which profession do you see as the most trustworthy? And which do you trust the least?

  1. Richard Barnes  

    Since they withheld potentially life-saving treatment from my elderly mum last year, I have become very distrustful of doctors, especially those ageist ones in hospitals. They just dumped her into palliative care. The medical literature I have looked at indicated that she had a 50% chance of recovering from septic shock.

  2. Richard Barnes  

    From the US, here’s what an honest politician sounds like. DITTO FOR AUSTRALIA!

    Congressman X is the nom de plume of an anonymous Democratic congressman who’s just written a scandalous new tell-all book.
    And it packs enough dynamite to bring down the walls of Jericho!
    Titled The Confessions of Congressman X, it’s a “devastating inside look at the dark side of Congress as revealed by one of its own,” as the book’s publisher styles it.
    Here you have confirmation of everything you’ve ever suspected about politicians — their .50-caliber dishonesty… their bottomless corruption… their finger-in-the-wind convictions. You name it.

    Here are a few choice snippets. And we hope you’ve digested your breakfast:

    “Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that’s lavished upon them.”

    “My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.”

    “Fundraising is so time-consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don’t know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it’ll cost.”

    “My staff gives me a last-minute briefing before I go to the floor and tells me whether to vote yea or nay. How bad is that?”

    “I sometimes vote ‘yes’ on a motion and ‘no’ on an amendment so I can claim I’m on either side of an issue.”

    “It’s the old shell game: If you can’t convince ’em, confuse ’em.”

    Bravo, bravo. At last, an honest fraud!

    But it’s more you want? Here Congressman X trains his guns right on the American people. Brace yourself:

    “Voters claim they want substance and detailed position papers, but what they really crave are cutesy cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe and the next f***ing Twitter message.”

    “Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works.”

    “It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”

    Don’t hold back, Congressman X. Tell us what you really think. But here he really takes an ax to the root of the tree. And doesn’t it just say it all?
    “We spend money we don’t have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation.”

    Screw the next generation…
    Daily Reckoning newsletter 14 May 2016

  3. irene  

    I suppose I base my trust in someone on whether they are looking out for me or looking out for themselves. I also feel that the degree of trust I have in people is dependent on the situation. There are some professions in the list that I found myself saying “why trust these guys?” e.g. university lecturer, talk back radio announcers, public opinion pollsters.Actually from about number 20 onwards I was shaking my head.

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