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This Is the Least Trusted Job in the U.S., Gallup Data Shows

In a recent survey, these professionals' standards of honesty and ethics scored the lowest.

This year, plenty of professionals have earned praise from the public, from the hospital employees who worked tirelessly to combat COVID, to the grocery store workers who put themselves in harm's way to help people get their essentials, to the teachers who shifted to educating remotely overnight, to the retail workers standing at storefronts ensuring masks were covering shoppers' mouths and noses. These workers have been lauded for the standards they upheld in the face of such unprecedented grief and pressure, but not all professionals are held in the same regard, as a new Gallup poll proves.

The analytics and advisory company recently set out to discover which job is the most untrustworthy of them all in the eyes of Americans. At the end of 2020, Gallup conducted telephone interviews with 1,018 randomly selected U.S. adults. They were given a list of different industries and asked how they would rate these workers' honesty and ethics standards, either as "very high," "high," "average," "low," or "very low." From there, the survey conductors ranked the professions based on the percent of respondents who gave them above-average ratings of "high" or "very high." The findings showed that Americans have a hard time trusting people in a few jobs in particular. Wondering which profession is the least trusted of them all? Read on to find out the 10 jobs that earned the lowest scores in the Gallup poll, all recieving under 50 percent approval ratings.

RELATED: This Is the Least Trusted Retailer in the U.S. Right Now, Data Shows.


Judge with a gavel

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 43 percent

In the 2020 survey, only 9 percent of respondents gave judges a "very high" rating in terms of their honesty and ethical standards and 34 percent gave them a "high" rating, leading to a 43 percent approval rating. Meanwhile, 16 percent of respondents gave them a "low" or "very low" rating.


Priest with his hand out and holding a bible
Yeti studio / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 39 percent

Nearly 40 percent of survey participants gave members of the clergy an above-average rating for their ethics and honesty: 10 percent gave them a "very high" rating and 29 percent rated them "high." Most participants–41 percent—rated them as "average" and 15 percent gave them a "low" or "very low" score.

RELATED: This Is the Deadliest Job in America, According to Data.

Nursing home operators

Worker helping a woman in a nursing home / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 36 percent

The Gallup researchers note that this is the highest score that nursing home operators have earned in the survey's history, most likely due to the pandemic. Nursing home operators received a 36 percent approval rating, with 28 percent of respondents giving them a "high" score and 8 percent rating them as "very high." Slightly more—43 percent of respondents—said their honesty and ethics were "average," and 19 percent gave them a "low" or "very low" rating.


Banker and his client
fizkes / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 29 percent

A measly 5 percent of participants in the Gallup poll gave bankers a "very high" rating when it comes to their standards, but an additional 24 percent gave them a "high" score, for a total approval rating of 29 percent. However, almost just as much of the polled participants felt the opposite: 21 percent of respondents gave them a "low" or "very low" rating.

RELATED: This Is the Most and Least Trusted Bank in the U.S., Data Shows.


A camera man filming a journalist who's interviewing
LightField Studios / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 28 percent

Similar to bankers, journalists were not considered very trustworthy among respondents, with only 6 percent of them giving members of the press a "very high" rating and another 22 giving them a "high" rating. A much larger percentage—40 percent—gave journalists a "low" or "very low" rating.


A lawyer signing papers on his desk
YP_Studio / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 21 percent

Lawyers received a strong score from only a few participants for an approval rating of 21 percent: 3 percent said attorneys' ethics and honesty standards were "very high" and 18 percent said they were "high." Meanwhile, 30 percent of respondents gave them a "low" or "very low" rating.

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Business executives

A team of business people talking in an office
Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 17 percent

Even fewer people trust the CEOs of their companies, it seems. These executives earned an above-average rating from just 17 percent of respondents. Nearly double, 36 percent, gave them a below-average score.

Advertising practitioners

A team of people working an an advertising poster
G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 10 percent

Advertising practitioners received one of the lowest scores in the survey, with 1 percent of participants rating their level of honesty and ethics as "very high" and 9 percent rating them "high." Almost half of the respondents—45 percent—gave them a "low" or "very low" score.

Car salespeople

a couple talking to a car salesman at dealership
Nestor Rizhniak / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 8 percent

It's a cliché to call a car salesperson conniving, but the Gallup poll shows that people in the U.S. certainly have that perspective. The job tied for least trusted profession in the U.S. with an 8 percent approval rating: just 7 percent of respondents giving them a "high" rating and 1 percent scored them as "very high." On the other side of the spectrum, 37 percent of those polled gave car salespeople a "low" or "very low" rating.

Members of Congress

Members of the U.S. Congress
mark reinstein / Shutterstock

Honesty and ethics approval rating: 8 percent

Tying for the lowest score is members of Congress, who also earned an 8 percent approval rating. Like car salespeople, 7 percent of participants gave members of Congress a "high" rating and just 1 percent scored them as "very high" when it comes to honesty and ethics. But more than half of the people surveyed gave these politicians a below-average rating: 63 percent of participants said their standards were "low" or "very low."

RELATED: This Is What People Hate Most About Their Boss, Survey Shows.

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