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Healthcare remains Australia's most trusted profession - and union leaders now rank higher than politicians

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nursing has taken out the title as the most highly regarded profession in Australia in terms of ethics and honesty, for the 23rd year running, according to Roy Morgan’s latest Image of Professions Survey for 2017.

Nursing led a clean sweep for healthcare workers in the survey with doctors and pharmacists taking out second and third spots respectively.

Here’s the full list from Roy Morgan, ranking from top to bottom professions seen to be the most highly regarded among Australians. The percentage indicates the number of respondents who deemed a profession as either ‘very high’ or ‘high’ in terms of their ethics and honesty.

Source: Roy Morgan Research

Clearly, when it comes to health, Australians regard those treating them as being far more trustworthy than most. Indeed, perceptions towards doctors and dentists both hit record highs in the latest survey.

Along with healthcare workers, school teachers and engineers also ranked highly at 81% and 80% respectively — both record highs — while those in the police force also fared well, increasing 4 percentage points to 76%.

That too was the highest level in the history of the survey, and up a whopping 21 percentage points from two decades ago.

However, while those professions ranked highly among Australians, there were some familiar stragglers at the other end of the list.

Car salespersons were deemed to be the least trustworthy profession, an unwelcome mantle that they’ve held since the survey was first conducted in 1976.

Just 4% deemed them to be very high or high in terms of their ethics and honesty. Oof.

Those working in advertising, real estate, stockbroking and insurance broking also fared poorly at less than 10%, ranking below union leaders and politicians in the latest survey.

“Both Federal MPs and their State MP colleagues fell in 2017 — both professions retreated 1% to 16% and are now regarded below union Leaders for the first time since 2013 when that year’s Federal Election resulted in the ejection of the second iteration of the Rudd Government,” Roy Morgan said.

“Union Leaders improved their standing in 2017 with 17% of Australians now rating the profession ‘very high’ or ‘high’ for ethics and honesty an improvement of 4% on 2016.”

Public servants ranked considerably higher than their bosses at 37%.

Those in the media also ranked poorly with only 20% of respondents indicating that they see newspaper journalists as being highly regarded for ethics and honesty.

TV reporters and talk-back radio announcers fared even worse at 17% and 14% respectively.

There’s more at the Roy Morgan Website here.

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