Commentary

How Prestigious is Your Business Card?

How Prestigious is Your Business Card?

According to the results of the annual Harris Poll measuring public perceptions of 23 professions and occupations, firefighters, doctors, and nurses are seen as prestigious occupations by U.S. adults, while business executives, stockbrokers and real estate agents are at the opposite end of the spectrum. And at least ¼ of adults think that union leaders, real estate brokers, and actors have "hardly any prestige at all."

advertisement

advertisement

Six occupations are perceived to have "very great" prestige by at least half of all adults:

  • firefighters (63%)
  • doctors (58%)
  • nurses (55%)
  • scientists (54%)
  • teachers (52%)
  • military officers (51%)

In contrast, nine occupations which are perceived by less than 20 percent of adults to have "very great" prestige:

real estate brokers (6%)

  • stockbrokers (11%)
  • business executives (11%)
  • actors (12%)
  • union leaders (12%)
  • journalists (16%)
  • bankers (17%)
  • accountants (17%)
  • entertainers (18%)

Since 1977 there have been some interesting changes, says the report:

  • Those who see teachers as having "very great" prestige has risen 23 points from 29 to 52 percent
  • Those who say lawyers have "very great" prestige has fallen 15 points, from 36 to 21 percent
  • Scientists have fallen 12 points from 66 to 54 percent
  • Business executives have fallen seven points from 18 to 11 percent
  • Doctors have fallen three points from 61 to 58 percent
  • Athletes have also fallen three points from 26 to 23 percent
  • Teachers are the only occupation, among the 11 tracked since 1977, to see a rise in prestige

And, changes since last year:

  • Firefighters have risen seven points from 56 to 63 percent. Over the past two years, they have risen a total of 15 points from 48 to 63 percent
  • Nurses have risen five points from 50 to 55 percent
  • Teachers have risen five points from 47 to 52 percent

To see the complete release and charts, please go here.

Next story loading loading..