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20 Least Respected Professions in America

In this article, we will look at the 20 least trusted professions in America. We will also analyze some of the most trusted jobs and some highly reputable and trusted companies in the US. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to the 5 Least Trusted Professions in America.

Which Jobs Are Most Trusted?

Healthcare professions, particularly nurses, medical doctors, and pharmacists, are widely regarded as trustworthy in the United States. According to a Gallup poll, nurses have been the most honest and ethical profession for over two decades, with 79% of respondents expressing high trust in them. While trust in these medical professionals slightly declined in the start of the pandemic, they still maintain higher trust levels compared to many other professions.

High school teachers were also considered trustworthy, but to a lesser extent, at 53%. Despite some partisan differences in opinions, Democrats and Republicans both ranked healthcare professions highly on honesty and ethics. The dedication and compassion shown by healthcare professionals, especially in challenging times, contribute to their enduring reputation as reliable and ethical individuals in the eyes of the American. Owing to their nature of work, professions in healthcare, including those of nurses and doctors, are among the most respected professions in the world.

Apart from these healthcare professions, the job of a pharmacist is often debated whether it is trusted or not. According to Gallup’s survey, pharmacists are indeed among the most trusted professionals in the United States, and this can be attributed to their dedication to customer care.

The least trusted professions are often considered ones where ethical values are violated on a daily basis or as part of the nature of their job. Thus, hacking is one of the most unethical jobs, but there's an ethical version of it too. You can read about ethical hacking covered in our article on most fun jobs that pay well.

As far as the trust in companies in concerned, Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) holds a high level of trust in the US. The company's commitment to maintaining its $1.50 hot dog and soda combo price since 1985 demonstrates consistency and customer-centricity. This unwavering stance on pricing creates a sense of reliability and transparency that has built unshakable trust with consumers over the years.

Additionally, the emphasis on a positive corporate culture contributes to its high trust score. By promoting a workplace environment that values employees and customer satisfaction, Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) creates a positive image, which resonates positively with the public. Lastly, the company's consistent growth further undersores its trustworthiness, as it indicates financial stability and longevity, assuring customers that they can rely on Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) as a dependable retailer.

On the other hand, Deere and Company (NYSE:DE) is an agricultural machinery company that is highly trusted in the US. By upholding a strong legacy, Deere and Company (NYSE:DE) instills a sense of reliability and quality in its machinery, earning the trust of both new and longstanding customers.

Moreover, its dedication to providing excellent products and services reinforces trust. Deere and Company (NYSE:DE)’s focus on manufacturing reliable and durable machinery establishes a positive reputation, with customers knowing they can count on the company's equipment for their agricultural needs. Furthermore, the positive corporate culture emphasizing customer satisfaction and employee well-being contributes to its high trust ranking.

20 Least Respected Professions in America
20 Least Respected Professions in America

Copyright: carlosyudica / 123RF Stock Photo

Our Methodology

To list the least trusted professions in America, we have used multiple sources along with a number of reddit threads about the jobs which were least trusted. We made a list of 30 such professions and only 20 of those which were most frequently appearing, were included in our list.

We gave each job a score on the trust level based on consensus. Hence, the lowest score indicates lowest trust which means the profession is least trusted.

Please note that the list is highly subjective and does not comment on any individual’s personal integrity. The list is purely based on the perception of the common people’s trust in these professions.

Here is a list of the Least Trusted Professions in America:

20. Paparazzi

Insider Monkey Score: 4.5

Paparazzi are typically self-employed individuals who are not associated with mainstream media outlets. Their primary job involves monitoring and capturing photos of high-profile celebrities whenever they get a chance. This behavior has often been equated with stalking, leading to the enactment of anti-stalking laws in several countries to protect public figures and celebrities from harassment, especially when they are with their children.

Many public figures and celebrities have voiced worries about the invasive nature of paparazzi which has led to a rise in requests for restraining orders and an increase in legal actions resulting in judgments against them. It is one of the least trusted professions in America.

19. Corporate Executives

Insider Monkey Score: 4.4

Corporate executives are not trusted primarily due to a continuing narrative of dissatisfaction with elites, which is prevalent globally. The Ipsos study reveals that business leaders have a low trust rating, with only 22% of people trusting them and 32% outright distrusting them. This lack of trust may be attributed to various factors, such as perceived self-interest, lack of transparency, and concerns about prioritizing profits over social responsibility.

18. Parking Enforcement Officers

Insider Monkey Score: 4.3

Parking enforcement officers are sometimes unethical and least trusted because of their excessive and unnecessary ticketing at times and a lack of discretion. This promotes a negative reputation for these officers who are perceived to prioritize revenue generation over public service.

17. Online Review Writers

Insider Monkey Score: 4.1

Online review writers are individuals who share their experiences and opinions about products, services, or businesses on various platforms, influencing the purchasing decisions of others with their feedback and ratings. Owing to their biased opinions after they are commissioned to write with a certain angle, these writers are often doubted for their authenticity.

16. Door-to-Door Salespeople

Insider Monkey Score: 3.8

Door-to-door salespeople are observed to employ aggressive or deceptive sales tactics with a lack of credibility. Thus, there are always concerns about scams or fraudulent activities. Hence, their unsolicited approach can raise suspicion and make people wary of their intentions. It is one of the least trusted professions in America.

15. Influencers

Insider Monkey Score: 3.5

Influencers are often questioned for their credibility and ethics, as their authenticity is doubted due to sponsorships and product promotions. Hence, their opinions are perceived to lack honesty, and personal gains often seem to outweigh genuine recommendations, leading to skepticism in their audience.

14. Fortune Tellers

Insider Monkey Score: 3.4

Fortune tellers lack public trust because their predictions are often considered vague and generalized, relying on clever tactics like cold reading and confirmation bias to give the illusion of accuracy. Skeptics view them as practitioners of pseudoscience that prey on vulnerable individuals that are looking for true guidance and exploit their beliefs for profit. It is hence one of the least trusted professions in America.

13. Bankers

Insider Monkey Score: 3.3

Public often considers bankers to be involved in financial scandals, conflicts of interest, and prioritizing profits over customer well-being. It is only natural that such perception leads to doubts about bankers’ intentions and ethical practices.

12. Journalists

Insider Monkey Score: 3.2

Journalists' trustworthiness can be questioned as they are observed to sensationalize news with biased reporting. They are also perceived to convey misinformation in pursuit of higher viewership or for political agendas which eventually erodes public confidence in the media's integrity and accuracy.

11. Debt Collectors

Insider Monkey Score: 3.0

Debt collectors often struggle with trust due to aggressive collection tactics, harassment allegations, and a reputation for putting financial interests above consumers' well-being, cultivating negative perceptions. It is one of the least trusted professions in the US.

10. Insurance Salespeople

Insider Monkey Score: 2.8

Insurance salespeople may face trust issues as they often demand potential hidden fees. They are also blamed for misinterpretation of policies, and tend to always prioritize their commissions. It is hence inevitable that such a behavior creates doubts about their transparency and customer-centric approach.

9. Used Car Salesperson

Insider Monkey Score: 2.6

Used car salespeople are distrusted due to their dishonesty, selling faulty vehicles, and pressure tactics. This creates skepticism about their integrity and the quality of their sales. It is hence one of the least trusted professions in America.

8. Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

Insider Monkey Score: 2.5

Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives may be perceived as untrustworthy due to potential biases and financial incentives to promote specific drugs, raising questions about the objectivity of their product recommendations.

7. Advertising Executives

Insider Monkey Score: 2.3

Advertising executives often have manipulative marketing techniques, and they exaggerate their products with misleading advertisements. This inevitably makes consumers wary of their intentions. It is one of the most unethical jobs in America.

6. Police Officers

Insider Monkey Score: 2.2

Police officers' trustworthiness may be questioned due to instances of misconduct, abuse of power, and racial profiling which leads to issues of public confidence and concerns about the fair and just execution of their duties. It is one of the least trusted professions in America.

Click here to see 5 Least Trusted Professions in the US.

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Disclosure: None. 20 Least Trusted Professions in America is originally published on Insider Monkey.