Friday, April 11th, 2014

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 beingAdvertising 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)?”




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Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
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Roy Morgan Research

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P: 03 9224 5332


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