Doctors aren’t just the highest-paid professionals in America. They’re also the most admired.
That’s according to a new Harris Poll study conducted online in the US among 2,537 adults.
Survey respondents were shown a list of occupations and asked how much prestige each job had. A whopping 88% considered doctors to either have “some” or “a great deal of” prestige.
“I would say doctor is No. 1 due to financial aspects, as well as community reasons,” says Niall McCarthy, a media relations manager at Statista, a statistics portal that created a chart of the Harris Poll data (see below). “Doctors are intelligent, high-earning professionals who are often close to members of the community. They’re also thought of as heroes in many situations.”
Others among the top 10 include military officer, firefighter, police officer, and nurse.
“These professions have often topped this list, which has been around since the 1970s, indicating that fame and income are not gatekeepers to prestige,” says Larry Shannon-Missal, managing editor of The Harris Poll. “First responders and frontline healthcare workers have traditionally been viewed as ‘noble’ professions, if you will — particularly in a post-9/11 America.”
McCarthy believes that people today define prestige as “a mixture of envy, respect, and admiration.” Meanwhile, Shannon-Missal thinks everyone has their own definition. “This is part of why we leave it open in our questioning, allowing it to mean whatever it means to the respondent,” he explains.
Here are the top 10:
Click here to see the full Harris Poll report.