The Gallup Poll's annual ranking of public perceptions of the honesty and ethics of various professions found that accountants rank below funeral directors, but above journalists.

At the top of the list were nurses, whose honesty and ethics are rated as high or very high by 84 percent of Americans. In contrast, the ethics and honesty of accountants are ranked as high or very high by only 38 percent of those polled. "While fewer than half of Americans consider funeral directors or accountants to be highly ethical, these professions are much more likely to be viewed positively than negatively," wrote Gallup Poll senior editor Lydia Saad.

Still, both accountants and funeral directors topped the journalism profession, whose ethics and honesty was rated high or very high by only 25 percent of the survey respondents. But journalists ranked favorably compared to some other professions. Building contractors, bankers, journalists and real estate agents received relatively neutral ratings. The lowest ranked professions were lobbyists, telemarketers and car salesmen.

The top-rated professions, in order, were nurses, followed by pharmacists, high school teachers and medical doctors, with close to two-thirds of respondents rating all those professions highly. Just over half of the survey respondents consider the honesty and ethics of clergy members and police to be either high or very high.

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