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Engineers the UK’s third most trusted profession

Published: 02/12/2020

bar chart showing most trusted professions - third longest bar, highlighted red, shows engineersThe annual Ipsos MORI Veracity Index has polled the UK general public’s trust in professions since 1983. The latest poll has once again shown engineers are among the UK’s most trusted professions, ranking behind only nurses and doctors.

A full 89% of the general public trust engineers to tell the truth, with only 6% responding that they do not, and 4% of respondents saying they don’t know. In the 2020 Veracity Index engineers were shown to be considered more trustworthy than other highly trusted professions including teachers, judges, professors and scientists.

A researcher at Ipsos MORI, Mike Clemence, commented:

“The latest wave of Ipsos MORI’s Veracity Index reveals that the trust the public place in professions has not been shifted notably by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Nurses and doctors, who were the most trusted professions anyway, remain at the top of the public’s list … We have recorded high levels of trust in some new professions that have been brought to public attention by the pandemic. Three quarters of the British public say they would trust a care home worker to tell the truth and a very similar proportion say the same about home delivery drivers.”

The Veracity Index polled just under 1,000 people and found some variations among respondents. Of those with a degree, 95% said they trusted engineers to tell the truth, while 85% of respondents without a degree said the same. Men were slightly more likely to trust engineers: 91%, versus 88% of women. Respondents aged 18-34 were even more likely to trust engineers (89%) than those aged over 65 (86%).

Dr Peter Bannister, a biomedical engineer and chair of the healthcare panel at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), said: “As highlighted this year, engineers play a central role in advancing the world around us and finding solutions to global challenges. The high level of public trust in engineers is a welcome boost and mirrors the level of professionalism and importance of engineers in the UK.

“The Coronavirus outbreak has presented many challenges across the world and has changed life as we know it. Engineers have played a vital role in developing technology and rapid processes to not only keep our infrastructure running but to provide healthcare solutions such as highly efficient ventilators, improve mental health by combatting social isolation, develop remote diagnostics and healthcare tracking apps as well as biomedical engineering which has led to successful vaccine trials.”

Professionally registered engineers and technicians have been independently assessed as meeting globally recognised standards of engineering competence and commitment. They commit to maintain and enhance their competence through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and to comply with the requirements of their professional engineering institution’s Code of Conduct. To verify whether an engineer is professionally registered, please contact the Engineering Council.

Read the full report on the Ipsos MORI website.


  • 2020