Engineers have once again placed among the most trusted professions in Great Britain, coming in 4th in the 2023 Ipsos Veracity Index poll behind only nurses, airline pilots and librarians.
The long-running annual survey on public trust found that 85% of Brits believe engineers are truthful and on par with doctors.
The Ipsos poll has tracked trust levels across 30 occupations since 1983. This year marks the 6th inclusion of engineering as a tracked profession. The score of 85% maintains engineers’ high marks in recent years, after 89% trust in 2020 and 87% in 2022.
Engineering institutions welcomed the continued display of confidence. “It’s great to see engineers maintaining their high ranking as one of the most trusted professions,” said Paul Bailey, CEO of the Engineering Council regulatory body. “Such a high level of trust is primarily down to their high level of professionalism exemplified by professional registration.”
The survey did reveal a gap in trust between age groups. While 90% of high earners making over £50k trust engineers, the figure falls to 80% for those earning under £25k. Additionally, higher distrust appears among young people versus older Brits.
This disconnect has spurred campaigns to boost engineering’s profile. “We hope to change perceptions through initiatives like our ‘Engineer a Better World’ program and Young Woman Engineer awards,” noted Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Similarly, the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) runs an annual “National Engineering Day” to highlight careers.
Elevated trust also confers greater expectations of engineers to spearhead solutions for pressing societal issues. “Our trusted position enables us to drive meaningful change, ensuring technology progresses hand in hand with environmental stewardship,” Dr. Katragadda added.
Upholding rigorous professional standards remains vital to maintaining trust levels. Registrations signalling competence, ethics and continuing education provide assurance. The Engineering Council and RAEng have jointly published an ethical code for members.
Engineers’ ranking as one of Britain’s most trusted professions underscores their unique role in furthering responsible innovation. But it also necessitates increased outreach and advancing inclusive, sustainable technologies worthy of public confidence.
- Engineers place 4th most trusted behind nurses, pilots, and librarians in the 2023 Ipsos Veracity Index
- 85% public trust level continues high marks in line with prior years
- Trust gap found between youth versus older and lower versus higher earning Brits
- Engineering institutions cite professionalism and ethics as trust drivers
- Expectations raised for engineers to lead on societal challenges like climate change
- Upholding standards and inclusive outreach are named as critical for maintaining trust