The Most and Least Ethical Career Fields

by Phil Stott | January 09, 2018

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If you want to work in a job that earns the trust and respect of your peers, you should probably choose a  career related to health care, and stay away from, uh, just about anything that involves talking about politics.

Those lessons, while probably intuitive to anyone who's been paying attention to any form of media in recent years, are underlined by a recent Gallup survey that asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of a variety of professions.

Here, courtesy of Statista, is an infographic that outlines some key professions:

Statista Gallup Survey 

As you can see, medical professionals, teachers and members of the military are among the most-trusted members of our society—with the latter two groupings scoring remarkably highly for professions that are often treated as political footballs.

Less trustworthy professions, meanwhile, include a number of roles related to politics (lobbyists, local officeholders and reporters), as well as high-profile, high-wage professions such as lawyers, bankers, and business executives.

As Gallup's own commentary points out, while people on different sides of the political divide tend to have sharply divergent views on a number of professions (see the chart below for examples), the current toxic political environment might not be to blame. As the report puts it "the professions with the largest gaps between Republican and Democratic opinions have shown similar partisan differences in the past."

Gallup chart

If you're looking for any kind of lesson from this kind of study, I'd suggest looking inward, rather than at society at large. If you're the kind of person who places importance on others' opinions of your career choices, you might want to consider focusing your efforts towards the top of the list. If, however, you've got a thicker skin, there's plenty of evidence here that there are good livings to be made in professions that the majority of your peers may consider to be beneath them in terms of personal ethics. 

Filed Under: Job Search | Salary & Benefits | Workplace Issues

Tags: ethical careers

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