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Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey 2014 - Nurses still most highly regarded – followed by Doctors, Pharmacists & High Court Judges

These are the main findings of a Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the nights of April 8-10, 2014, with 644 Australian men and women aged 14 and over.

A very large majority, 91% (up 1% to its highest since 2007) of Australians aged 14 and over rate Nurses as the most ethical and honest profession – the 20th year in a row since Nurses were first included on the survey in 1994.

Of all 30 professions surveyed in 2014 a majority, seventeen, decreased in regard to ethics and honesty while ten professions increased and only three professions were unchanged.

Other professions that also gained high ratings for ethics and honesty in 2014, included Doctors (86%, down 2%), Pharmacists (86%, up 2%), Dentists (74%, unchanged), High Court Judges (74%, up 1%),  Engineers (72%, down 4%), School Teachers (72%, down 4%), Police (71%, up 2%) – the highest ever rating for Police and State Supreme Court Judges (70%, unchanged).

Amongst the biggest losers were Ministers of Religion (37%, down 7%) recording their lowest ever rating for ethics and honesty since being included on the survey in 1996, Business Executives (18%, down 4%), Union Leaders (12%, down 3%) – their lowest rating since 2002 and Real Estate Agents (9%, down 3%).

Federal MPs (12%, down 2%) and State MPs (12%, down 1%) both lost ground since last year whilst the lowest ranked profession is once again Car Salesmen (3%, down 1%) – a position they have held for over 30 years with the next lowest being Advertising people (8%, down 1%).

Gary Morgan says:

“Roy Morgan’s annual Image of Professions survey for 2014 shows a majority of professions (17) recorded falls in their ratings for ‘ethics and honesty’ over the past year with Nurses (91%, up 1% from 2013) still leading the way as Australia’s most respected profession for very high or high ‘ethics and honesty’.

“The biggest losers this year were Ministers of Religion (37%, down 7%) following several scandals to hit the Catholic Church over the past 12 months. This is the lowest ever rating for Ministers of Religion since being included on the survey for the first time in 1996. Other big losers included Business Executives (18%, down 4%) and Union Leaders (12%, down 3%) following much recent publicity around the conviction of former Federal Labor MP Craig Thomson on charges of corruption and the just begun Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption which is set to hear allegations concerning corrupt union practices for the remainder of 2014.

“Once again Car Salesman (3%, down 1%) rank at the bottom of the list – a position they have held for over 30 years. The only other professions in single digits for ‘ethics and honesty’ are Advertising people (8%, down 1%) just behind Real Estate Agents (9%, down 3%).”

These are the main findings of a Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the nights of April 8-10, 2014, with 644 Australian men and women aged 14 and over.

Respondents were asked: “As I say different occupations, could you please say – from what you know or have heard - which rating best describes how you, yourself, would rate or score people in various occupations for honesty and ethical standards (Very High, High, Average, Low, Very Low)?”

"Very high" or "High" ratings for Ethics and Honesty: All Australians 14+             *Not included in poll
Occupations ‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘11 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14 Dif
  % % % % % % % %
1 Nurses 89 89 89 90 90 90 91 1
2 Pharmacists 86 84 85 87 88 84 86 2
3 Doctors 79 82 79 87 83 88 86 -2
4 High Court Judges 66 67 63 75 70 73 74 1
5 Dentists 70 69 68 76 75 74 74 -
6 School teachers 78 76 73 76 76 76 72 -4
7 Engineers 72 69 69 71 70 76 72 -4
8 Police 66 65 62 69 69 69 71 2
9 State Supreme Court Judges 67 68 64 75 69 70 70 -
10 University lecturers 67 61 60 61 65 68 66 -2
11 Accountants 54 51 50 54 49 49 52 3
12 Bank Managers 33 33 33 40 37 38 43 5
13 Lawyers 35 30 32 38 30 36 38 2
14 Ministers of Religion 50 45 44 51 43 44 37 -7
15 Public servants 29 28 28 30 33 36 34 -2
16 Public opinion pollsters 29 23 27 34 28 33 32 -1
17 Financial planners * 25 25 28 26 25 28 3
18 Directors of Public Companies 22 17 19 24 20 26 24 -2
19 TV Reporters 16 14 16 14 14 18 18 -
20 Newspaper Journalists 14 9 11 11 12 19 18 -1
21 Business Executives 21 16 16 18 18 22 18 -4
22 Insurance brokers 15 11 14 12 10 13 16 3
23 Stock brokers 18 15 12 14 13 15 16 1
24 Talk-back radio announcers 18 15 19 17 17 16 15 -1
25 State MPs 20 18 16 12 10 13 12 -1
26 Federal MPs 23 19 16 14 10 14 12 -2
27 Union leaders 17 14 15 18 15 15 12 -3
28 Real Estate Agents 10 10 10 7 9 12 9 -3
29 Advertising people 9 6 8 5 8 9 8 -1
30 Car Salesmen 4 3 5 3 2 4 3 -1

Download and view a full PDF copy of the release - including table of results from 1986 - 2014.


For further information:

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Gary Morgan:

+61 3 9224 5213

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:

+61 3 9224 5215

+61 411 129 093


Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

500

±4.5

±3.9

±2.7

±1.9

1,000

±3.2

±2.7

±1.9

±1.4