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Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey 2012: Nurses Still Most Highly Regarded, Politicians at 14 Year Lows

These are the main findings of a Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the nights of May 9/10, 2012, with 651 Australian men and women aged 14 and over.:

A large majority, 90% (unchanged in a year) of Australians aged 14 and over rate Nurses as the most ethical and honest profession — the 18th year in a row since Nurses were first included on the survey in 1994.

Of all 30 professions surveyed in 2012 a majority of 18 professions declined over the year, six increased while six professions were unchanged.

Other professions that also gained high ratings for ethics and honesty in 2012, including Pharmacists (88%, up 1%), Doctors (83%, down 4%), School Teachers (76%, unchanged), Dentists (75%, down 1%), Engineers (70%, down 1%), High Court Judges (70%, down 5%),State Supreme Court Judges (69%, down 6%) and Police (69%, unchanged). Police were very highly rated in South Australia (84%), but rated lowly in Victoria (64%), West Australia (58%) and Tasmania (53%).

With scandals engulfing several politicians at the time of polling, including Speaker Peter Slipper and former Federal Labor MP Craig Thomson, unsurprisingly Federal MPs (10%, down 4%) and State MPs (10%, down 2%) both recorded their lowest ratings for ethics and honesty since 1998. Ministers of Religion (43%, down 8%) recorded their lowest ever rating for ethics and honesty since being included on the survey in 1996.

The lowest ranked profession is once again Car Salesmen (2%, down 1%) — a position they have held for over 30 years. The next lowest were Advertising people (8%, up 3%) and Real Estate Agents (9%, up 2%).

Other Professions to record a fall included Public opinion pollsters (28%, down 6%), Bank Managers (37%, down 3%), Lawyers (30%, down 8%) and Directors of Public Companies (20%, down 4%).

Gary Morgan says:

“Roy Morgan’s annual Image of Professions survey for 2012 shows a majority of professions (18) recorded falls in their ratings for ‘ethics and honesty’ over the past year although Nurses (90%, unchanged from 2011) still lead the way as Australia’s most respected profession for very high or high ‘ethics and honesty’.

“Other professions in the medical field once again scored well with high ratings for ‘ethics and honesty’ including Pharmacists (88%, up 1%), Doctors (83%, down 4%) and Dentists (75%, down 1%). School teachers (76%, unchanged) were the only other profession to rate above 70%.

“The low ratings for both Federal MPs (10%, down 4%) and State MPs (10%, down 2%) — both have both fallen to their lowest levels since 1998 when they last rated in single digits — can be attributed to the ongoing scandals engulfing several prominent politicians including Speaker of the House Peter Slipper and disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson.

“The two professions to experience the largest percentage falls in 2012 were Lawyers (30%, down 8%) and Ministers of Religion (43%, down 8%) — now at their lowest ever rating for ‘ethics and honesty’ since being included on the survey in 1996.

“Once again Car Salesman (2%, down 1%) rank at the bottom of the list — a position they have held for over 30 years. Bucking the overall trend, the two next lowest professions both improved slightly in 2012 — Advertising people (8%, up 3%) and Real Estate Agents (9%, up 2%).”

These are the main findings of a Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the nights of May 9/10, 2012, with 651 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)?”

Download Data Table