Results of the annual Harris Poll that measures the public's perceptions of 23 different professions and occupations indicates that the profession of clergy ranks in the top 10 most prestigious occupations.
Of the 1,010 U.S. adults who were interviewed in July of this year, 40 percent said that the role of Priest/Minister/Clergy had "very great prestige." The top ten occupations ranked by perception of very high prestige were:
Military Officer: 46%
Police Officer: 46%
Of the 23 professions that were ranked, Banker, Stockbroker and Real Estate Agent took the bottom three spots, with only six percent of respondents saying that Real Estate Agent was an occupation with "very great prestige." It's also interesting to note that, according to the Harris Poll in 1977, the occupation of Clergy was seen as having "very great prestige" by 41 percent of those who were questioned. That number rose to 46 percent in 1998 and dropped to 32 percent in 2004.
For the complete report, visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/ and search under the listing of the 2008 polls.