The 2015 survey remains similar to previous years, with the usual suspects at the bottom – car sales personnel, journalists, members of parliament, real estate sales staff and those in advertising – with nurses and dentists at the top.
Roy Morgan Research executive chairman Gary Morgan said the bottom placed profession has remain unchanged for three decades.
“The lowest ranked profession is once again car salesmen at 4 per cent, unchanged from the previous year and a position they have held for over 30 years,” he said.
Mr Morgan, who has produced the data over all those years, says he is mystified about the reasons people who sell cars are still on the bottom of the list.
“It appears to be a perception that’s been going for a long time and I don’t know why,” he said.
He told GoAutoNews Premium that he was not one of those people who would give a low ranking to car sales people.
“I have always had good relationships with the sales people that have sold me a car,” he said.
The 2015 survey has produced a mixed results for many professionals.
The majority of respondents, 92 per cent aged 14 and over, again put nurses at the top as the most ethical and honest profession. It is the 22nd consecutive year that nurses topped the survey, a position they have held every subsequent year since they were first added.
Roy Morgan Research surveyed 30 professions in 2015 and 23 increased their rankings while four fell and three remained unchanged.
Compared with last year’s results, the included professions with high ethics and honesty ratings were doctors and pharmacists both up two per cent at 86 per cent, engineers at 78 per cent (up four per cent), school teachers at 77 per cent (down one per cent), dentists at 75 per cent (up 4 per cent), police at 72 per cent (up three per cent and now at all-time high), high court judges at 71 per cent (up three per cent) and state supreme court judges at 70 per cent (up one per cent).
Amongst the losers were ministers of religion, now with 35 per cent of favourable responses which is four per cent down on 2014. They were first included in 1996 with a 59 per cent rating.
Bank managers also fell, down four per cent to 30 per cent after sliding from 43 per cent in 2014. The record lowest for bank managers was 29 per cent in 2002, a far cry from the 54 per cent of 1988.
Union leaders recorded 13 per cent, down one per cent, and attributed by Roy Morgan Research to the results of last year’s royal commission into union corruption.
Winners in the 2015 survey were university lecturers at 68 per cent (up seven per cent), accountants at 51 per cent (up six per cent), public servants at 39 per cent (up four per cent), lawyers at 35 per cent (up four per cent) and – perhaps surprisingly on the eve of a Federal Election, said Roy Morgan – Federal MPs with 17 per cent (up four per cent).
The survey was conducted between May 4 and 5 in 2016.
By Neil Dowling