Top 13 U.S. Professions That Americans Voted the Most Ethical

Certain professions in the United States of America are famous for their adherence to ethical principles. The multinational analyst and advisory U.S. company Gallup has performed an ethics and honesty survey of the most popular professions in America. They started publishing the annual updates of the surveys in the 1990s. A recent Gallup report by Megan Brenan and Jeffrey M. Jones unveiled some interesting insights. The report explains that almost all professions mentioned in the survey have received lower ethical ratings than in 2019 and 2022.

We analyzed the Gallup Survey and conducted in-depth research to determine which professions received the most votes for being ethical and honest. Let’s examine the top jobs in America that people believe are ethically strong.


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Since the 1950s, the American Nurses Association has mandatorily followed the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. According to these codes, nurses should adhere to strict ethical standards to ensure patient safety and confidentiality. The nursing profession received 83% of votes in 2019 securing the top position. Even though its percentage of votes has come down to 78% in 2023, it still enjoys the badge of the most ethical profession in America. Among all healthcare professionals, the nursing job is considered the most ethical as well.


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The engineering profession has secured the 2nd position in the ethics and honesty survey. Previously, the 2nd position was held by the veterinarian profession before its exclusion from the list in 2006. Engineers are responsible for public safety while designing and building critical infrastructure. They have to follow rigorous standards and codes of practice, ensuring their work is safe and reliable. In the latest survey report, engineers got 60% of the votes, 6% less than in 2019.


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Dentists have gone up the list since 2019 despite getting fewer votes in 2023. As per the latest survey, 59% of respondents thought dentists are ethical in prioritizing patient comfort and safety. The American Dental Association advises five pledges according to The ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Conduct. These codes instruct that dentists should always maintain patient autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, and veracity.

Medical Doctors

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The Gallup survey shows that people’s faith in doctors has decreased over the years. Yet, it is still considered one of the most ethical professions in America. With 9% fewer votes than in 2019, the medical doctors profession got 56% of support in the survey. The Hippocratic Oath, “Do not harm”, abides doctors to prioritize patients’ well-being over their profits. Moreover, The Code of Medical Ethics by the American Medical Association advises a set of mandatory norms for maintaining ethics and integrity.


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The pharmacist’s job is another healthcare profession earning great votes on the ethics and honesty survey. Pharmacists have to maintain a high level of accuracy and confidentiality to ensure patients’ safety. Despite the 9% decrease in the received votes, this profession earned the trust of 55% of people. The American Pharmacists Association’s Code of Ethics advises the protocols for maintaining ethics.

Police Officers

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The primary responsibility of a police officer is to uphold justice and protect citizens. Around 45% of U.S. adults believe that police officers are honest and ethical. This percentage is different for Democrats and Republicans. While 55% of republican respondents voted for the police, 37% of Democrats voted for the same. The crime rate among police officers is also substantially low.

College Teachers

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The college teaching profession earned 42% of votes in the latest survey, securing a place in the top 10. Unfortunately, the voting rates in favor of this profession have reached the lowest after 1977. In this case, too, there is a significant gap between democrats’ and Republicans’ voting percentages. While 62% of Democrat-leaning respondents voted for this profession, only 22% of Republicans did the same.


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Their commitment to mental health care reinforces the ethical standards of psychiatrists. In the USA, psychiatrists are loved by 36% of adults in terms of their honesty and integrity. Psychiatrists must adhere to strict ethical standards, ensuring patient confidentiality, informed consent, and non-maleficence. Plus, the Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association instructs the members to maintain professionalism and empathy in their practice.


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Chiropractors aim to improve musculoskeletal health through non-invasive methods. With 33% of public votes, this profession has earned a spot in the list of most ethical jobs in America. To practice ethically, professionals have to maintain informed consent, patient confidentiality, and evidence-based practices.


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Clergy members are trusted advisors in their communities, providing spiritual guidance and support. This profession has a compulsion to adhere to moral principles. Offering compassion, respect, and integrity in their service, the clergy profession earned 32% of people’s votes in the latest survey.

Labor Union Leaders

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Labor union leaders are advocates for workers’ rights, fair wages, and safe working conditions. It is the only profession listed in the survey earning more votes (25%)  than the last two years (24%). The trend of trusting people in this role as ethical has been increasing over the years.


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The Independent Community of Bankers in America provides a Code of Conduct for its members. These codes instruct bankers to maintain trust in financial systems and prevent fraud. Around 19% of respondents in the Gallup survey voted in favor of bankers being ethical. The ratings of this profession reached its previous low point in post-recession in 2009.


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Journalists have to maintain ethics in their job to maintain truth, accuracy, and fairness in reporting. Prioritizing unbiased information and maintaining source confidentiality is important for their professional standards. Around 19% of respondents voted in favor of journalists. With the advent of AI, people have become more concerned about the ethical standards of journalists nowadays.

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