Firefighters and nurses top list of Canada’s respected professionals: Insights West poll

FIREFIGHTERS and nurses are the only professionals respected by more than nine-in-10 Canadians, a new Canada-wide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 92% of Canadians say they have a positive opinion of firefighters, while 91% feel the same way about nurses.

More than four-in-five Canadians outline positive views on farmers (88%), doctors (87%), teachers (86%), scientists (84%), engineers (82%), veterinarians (also 82%,) and architects (81%).

At least seven-in-10 Canadians have a “very positive” or “somewhat positive” opinion of dentists (78%), accountants (75%), military officers (74%), police officers (71%), psychiatrists (also 71%), athletes (70%) and journalists (also 70%).

More than half of Canadians have a positive opinion of judges (68%), auto mechanics (62%), actors and artists (61%), building contractors (56%), priests and ministers (52%) and bankers (51%).

Six of the professions included in the survey did not garner a positive review from half of Canadians: Lawyers (48%, -2), realtors and real estate agents (47%, -3), business executives (47%, =), pollsters (42%, +8), car salespeople (26%, -2) and politicians (22%, -2).

Compared to the 2017 Insights West survey, the biggest improvements are observed for pollsters (from 34% to 42%) and journalists (from 62% to 70%). Conversely, the professions that saw the biggest drops are auto mechanics (from 74% to 62%), actors and artists (from 68% to 61%) and priests and ministers (from 59% to 52%).

As was the case in the 2016 Insights West survey, car salespeople and politicians are the lowest ranked professions. Politicians have a particularly low rating among women (21%), Canadians aged 55 and over (15%) and residents of Atlantic Canada (12%).

“There is an interesting generational gap in the way Canadians perceive police officers,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “One third of Canadians aged 18-to-34 (34%) say they have a negative view of police officers, compared to 23% for those aged 35-to-54 and 19% for those aged 55 and over.”