The most trusted profession – nurse, doctor… and then engineer
30 Nov 2020
Engineers are Britain’s third most trusted profession, according to one of the most comprehensive annual polls of national attitudes to occupations.
Published with the help of industry associations including the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the 2020 Ipsos MORI Veracity Index has been tracking the latest changes in Britons’ trust in key professions since the 1980s.
Engineering has been included for the third year running and has shown itself to be a consistently high performer.This year’s score, however, is its highest to date.
The profession is trusted to tell the truth by almost nine in 10 people or 89% of the population sampled. This is exceeded only by the top scoring profession – nurses on 93% – and doctors (91%),
Encouragingly, given the need for engineering to compete for qualified recruits and its expected shortfall in numbers, trust is especially high (95%) amongst Britain’s graduates. Their wider age cohort, ‘Generation X’, also placed the highest level of trust amongst their generational counterparts with 94% trusting engineers to tell the truth.
Chair of the IET’s healthcare panel Dr Peter Bannister said: “As highlighted this year, engineers play a central role in advancing the world around us and finding solutions to global challenges. The high level of public trust in engineers is a welcome boost and mirrors the level of professionalism and importance of engineers in the UK.
He said the challenges presented by the Coronavirus outbreak had illustrated the value of the profession, he said.
“Engineers have played a vital role in developing technology and rapid processes to not only keep our infrastructure running but to provide healthcare solutions such as highly efficient ventilators, improve mental health by combatting social isolation, develop remote diagnostics and healthcare tracking apps as well as biomedical engineering which has led to successful vaccine trials.
“It is without doubt that engineering and technological innovation has and will continue to make a huge difference. The recognition of trust by the public will hopefully be a welcome boost in the fixing the shortfalls faced by the industry by encouraging the next generation of talent, as engineering continues to be a vital profession across the world.”
The Veracity Index is an annual poll that has measured the trustworthiness of professions in Britain since 1983. For the core list of 24 professions Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 916 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain by telephone between 16-25 October this year.