Table 7-16
Public perceptions of prestige of various occupations: Selected years, 1977–2009
(Percent saying "very great prestige")
 
Occupation 1977 1982 1992 1997 1998 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
 
Firefighter NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 55 48 56 63 61 57 62
Scientist 66 59 57 51 55 56 53 51 57 52 56 54 54 56 57
Doctor 61 55 50 52 61 61 61 50 52 52 54 58 52 53 56
Nurse NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 47 44 50 55 50 52 54
Teacher 29 28 41 49 53 53 54 47 49 48 47 52 54 52 51
Military officer NA 22 32 29 34 42 40 47 46 47 49 51 52 46 51
Police officer NA NA 34 36 41 38 37 40 42 40 40 43 46 46 44
Priest/minister/clergy 41 42 38 45 46 45 43 36 38 32 36 40 42 40 41
Engineer 34 30 37 32 34 32 36 34 28 29 34 34 30 40 39
Farmer NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 36 41 41 36
Architect NA NA NA NA 26 26 28 27 24 20 27 27 23 28 29
Member of Congress NA NA 24 23 25 33 24 27 30 31 26 28 26 28 28
Lawyer 36 30 25 19 23 21 18 15 17 17 18 21 22 24 26
Business executive 18 16 19 16 18 15 12 18 18 19 15 11 14 17 23
Athlete 26 20 18 21 20 21 22 21 17 21 23 23 16 20 21
Journalist 17 16 15 15 15 16 18 19 15 14 14 16 13 18 17
Union leader NA NA 12 14 16 16 17 14 15 16 15 12 13 18 17
Entertainer 18 16 17 18 19 21 20 19 17 16 18 18 12 15 17
Banker 17 17 17 15 18 15 16 15 14 15 15 17 10 15 16
Actor NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 13 16 16 12 9 16 15
Stockbroker NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 8 10 8 11 12 10 13
Accountant NA 13 14 18 17 14 15 13 15 10 13 17 11 15 11
Real estate agent/broker NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 6 5 9 6 5 6 5
 

NA = not available, question not asked

NOTES: Responses to I am going to read off a number of different occupations. For each, would you tell me if you feel it is an occupation of very great prestige, considerable prestige, some prestige, or hardly any prestige at all? Data reflect responses of "very great prestige."

SOURCE: Harris Interactive, Firefighters, Scientists, and Doctors Seen as Most Prestigious Occupations: Real Estate Brokers, Accountants, and Stockbrokers Are at the Bottom of the List. The Harris Poll (#86, 4 August 2009), http://www.harrisinteractive.com/vault/Harris-Interactive-Poll-Research-Pres-Occupations-2009-08.pdf, accessed 7 February 2011.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012