Skip Nav
4 Secrets From a 28-Year-Old Retiree
Career Advice
The Best Way to Get Through the Workday Grind? Laugh More
4 Reasons I'm Glad My Office Has an Open Floorplan

The Most and Least Honest Professions of 2008

Bankers just can't seem to cut a break this year — besides enduring an extremely tumultuous work environment, people are judging those in the banking profession as being less honest than previously thought. The group lost 12 percentage points from last year's annual Gallup poll that asks for respondents to rate the honesty and ethical standards of various fields, dropping bankers from their spot among the most well-rated professions in 2007 to a neutral rating.

Poll respondents evaluated the professions as having very high, high, average, low, or very low standards, and here are the results from the 2008 survey. Is your profession reflected in the ratings?

Top-Rated Professions For Honesty and Ethics

  1. Accountants
  2. Funeral directors
  3. Clergy
  4. Policemen
  5. Medical doctors
  6. High school teachers
  7. Druggists or pharmacists
  8. Nurses

For the list of the least-rated professions,


Least-Rated Professions For Honesty and Ethics

  1. Labor union leaders
  2. Lawyers
  3. Business executives
  4. Advertising practitioners
  5. Stock brokers
  6. Congressmen
  7. Car salesmen
  8. Telemarketers
  9. Lobbyists
Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Not too shocked...
Vaadsfweytes Vaadsfweytes 8 years
In the unethical list. This list doesn't surprise me, though.
NurseKimberly NurseKimberly 8 years
I shall not tell a lie...
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Coming from a family of prominent and intelligent attorneys, I have to disagree with the lawyers entry. Yes I know there are those ambulance-chasers out there, but not all attorneys are crooks. In fact, many of them are extremely hard-working, loyal, and honest.
pinksocks pinksocks 8 years
woo hoo! nurses!!! =)
NurseDeAnna NurseDeAnna 8 years
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I'm surprised that accountants made the "most ethical and honest list", considering that a lot of the company corruption I've seen was because people were cooking the books...hello Enron?
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I'm a lawyer and I am UBER ethical (I know this list is about the whole, but still ;)). I disclose ALL information to opposing counsel and to the court. My plan is to never have contact w the attorney grievance committee ;) I'm surprised funeral directions are on the honest list... I always thought the 'sterotype' (for lack of a better word) was that they tried to suck greiving family dry.
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
yayyyyy im #2 on the honest list lol
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
I dunno, I bet funeral directors are a shady bunch. There's probably lots of jewelry to be stolen. :rotfl:
Spectra Spectra 8 years
On a related note...where are "debt collectors" on the unethical list?
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'm in the medical microbiology field and we're all about ethics. I mean, if there is even one little tiny error, we do everything we can to fix it. I was a telemarketer BRIEFLY and I actually quit because of the ethical dilemma I faced. Seriously, we were encouraged to get money out of people that were terminally ill, in nursing homes, facing foreclosure/bankruptcy, etc. We literally HAD to ask for money 3 separate times before we were allowed to hang up. It was so uncomfortable and I just couldn't do it.
Swen Swen 8 years
I agree with psychobabble about the methodology. This seems to be based on the public's opinion of the professions, not on actual facts. So yeah, everything here seems to fit the stereotype. It is very interesting though that the public has significantly changed their opinions on bankers over the past year.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
I'm on the dishonest list. ;)
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
i find it interesting the specifically high schoool teachers are, where are elementary teachers? they aren't as ethical? Hmmm
PinkLizzie PinkLizzie 8 years
Where are scientists?
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
I can't complain too much since I'm a nurse and I'd like to think I'm ethical and honest. My husband was pretty annoyed that doctors weren't number 2 (he's a med student). hah hah! I do think the rankings are more about which professions people think "should be honest and ethical" rather than which ones they think actually are.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Advertising practitioners lol...that's what i am taking in school!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i don't think that there are any surprises there to be honest ...
Recession-Proof Jobs
How to Impress My Boss
94-Year-Old Woman Working at McDonald's
Why Passion Is More Important Than Money
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds