Engineers one of the most trusted professions

Eight in 10 people (84%) trust engineers to tell them the truth

The profession, which makes up 19% of the UK workforce* is trusted to tell the truth by eight in 10 people (84% of the population), ranking it sixth in this year’s index, closely following nurses (94%), librarians (93%), doctors (91%), teachers (86%) and museum curators (86%).

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) worked with the 2021 Ipsos MORI Veracity Index, which has been tracking the latest movements in Britons’ trust in key professions since the 1980s, to include engineering for the fourth year running.

Trust is especially high amongst Britain’s graduates (93%) and those aged 18-24 (88%) which is a positive step towards increasing the numbers of qualified engineering professionals across the UK and plugging the growing skills gap.

Generation X (aged 42 – 55) also placed higher than some of their generational counterparts with 89% trusting engineers, to tell the truth.

Sir Julian Young, IET President, said: “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 mirrors the level of professionalism and importance of engineers in the UK.

“The last two years have highlighted more than ever the vital role engineers play in developing technology and rapid processes, not only to defeat a global pandemic but to keep our infrastructure and economy running.

“I have no doubt that engineering and technological innovation has and will continue to make a huge difference to society, especially in promoting sustainability and dealing with climate change. 

This recognition of trust by the public is a welcome boost to all those in industry, academia, and our communities working together to address the shortfalls in engineer numbers faced across the UK by encouraging the next generation of talent, as engineering continues to be a vital profession across the world.”

At the bottom of the trust league:

  • advertising executives (16%)
  • politicians generally (19%)
  • Government ministers (19%)
  • journalists (28%)
  • business leaders (31%).

--ENDS--

Notes to editors:

*State of Engineering 2018, Engineering UK, 2018.

The Veracity Index is an annual poll that has measured the trustworthiness of professions in Britain since 1983.

This year’s survey was carried out over two waves of a telephone omnibus survey.

  • For a short list of nine professions (lawyers, professional footballers, museum curators, advertising executives, care home workers, home delivery drivers, engineers, landlords of private residential properties and librarians), Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,007 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain by telephone between 29 October and 4 November 2021
  • For the core list of 21 professions Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,009 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain by telephone between 5 and 10 November 2021

Data are weighted to the population profile. Where percentages do not sum to 100 this may be due to computer rounding.

Trust in professions

Q1    Now I will read you a list of different types of people. For each, please tell me if you would generally trust them to tell the truth or not?

 

      Base: 1,007 / 1,009 British adults 18+

 

 

 

 

 

Trust to tell the truth

Do not trust to tell the truth

Don’t know

 

 

%

%

%

 

Nurses

94%

3%

3%

 

Librarians

93%

2%

4%

 

Doctors

91%

8%

2%

 

Teachers

86%

11%

3%

 

Museum curators

86%

5%

9%

 

Engineers

84%

9%

8%

 

Scientists

83%

11%

6%

 

Judges

82%

13%

5%

 

Professors

81%

11%

8%

 

Care home workers

76%

14%

10%

 

Home delivery drivers

71%

22%

7%

 

The Police

63%

29%

7%

 

The ordinary man/woman in the street

60%

28%

12%

 

Lawyers

59%

33%

9%

 

Clergy/priests

58%

32%

9%

 

Civil Servants

57%

32%

11%

 

Television news readers

52%

38%

10%

 

Pollsters

49%

31%

20%

 

Charity chief executives

49%

40%

11%

 

Trade union officials

44%

41%

15%

 

Local councillors

44%

48%

9%

 

Bankers

43%

48%

9%

 

Landlords of private residential properties

38%

49%

13%

 

Professional footballers

35%

48%

17%

 

Estate agents

32%

60%

8%

 

Business leaders

31%

58%

11%

 

Journalists

28%

63%

9%

 

Government Ministers

19%

75%

6%

 

Politicians generally

19%

75%

6%

 

Advertising executives

16%

75%

9%

 

 

Key regional statistics - engineers

Northern England

  • Engineers tell the truth – 86%
  • Engineers do not tell the truth – 5%
  • Don’t know – 9%

Midlands

  • Engineers tell the truth – 80%
  • Engineers do not tell the truth – 12%
  • Don’t know – 8%

Southern England

  • Engineers tell the truth – 81%
  • Engineers do not tell the truth – 12%
  • Don’t know – 8%

London

  • Engineers tell the truth – 86%
  • Engineers do not tell the truth – 7%
  • Don’t know – 6%

Scotland

  • Engineers tell the truth – 92%
  • Engineers do not tell the truth – 4%
  • Don’t know – 4%

Wales (note small base size: 56 participants)

  • Engineers tell the truth – 83%
  • Engineers do not tell the truth – 8%
  • Don’t know – 9%

About the IET

  • We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community to engineer a better world.
  • We are a diverse home for engineering and technology intelligence throughout the world. This breadth and depth means we are uniquely placed to help the sector progress society.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and technology to change outdated perceptions and tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • Interview opportunities are available with our spokespeople from a range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and diversity in engineering.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org
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Media enquiries to

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager
E: hkellett@theiet.org

Rebecca Gillick
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