The most and least reputable professions in Germany

The most and least reputable professions in Germany

The most and least reputable professions in Germany

A recent survey has revealed the most reputable jobs in Germany. Firefighters and nurses enjoy the best reputation amongst Germans, whilst insurance agents are considered the worst.

Emergency service workers most respected in Germany

In almost any walk of life, it’s almost always desirable to not just be successful but also regarded with a high level of esteem. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it seems like these two values rarely go hand-in-hand. However, with hard work and perseverance, it is entirely possible to be successful at whatever you put your mind to. If you think you’ve got what it takes, and you want to not just be successful but highly regarded, then it might be time to try your entering into the world of emergency services, as a recent opinion poll has revealed that jobs in this sector are revered highly in Germany.

The survey was undertaken by the forsa Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis for the German Civil Service Association (DBB) and asked people how they regarded different professions. Accordingly, firefighters were held in the highest regard, with 94 percent of respondents rating them highly or even very highly. Soldiers enjoyed the biggest increase to their reputation, with 53 percent of respondents rating them highly or very highly – seven percent more than in 2020. Insurance agents had the lowest approval rating of any job, with only 8 percent of people rating them highly.

Britta Matthes, a researcher from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), explains that a profession’s reputation is discerned from a number of factors. Salary obviously plays a big part but so does the intrinsic motivation for undertaking a job, for example, carers and teachers often develop close bonds with their patients or students and don’t just enter into their profession just for the money. “That has a positive effect on their reputation,” Matthes said. Media attention also plays a role too, which may explain the big increase in soldiers’ reputations since soldiers have recently been in the public eye, supporting health authorities during the coronavirus crisis and other aid missions.

Entrepreneurs’ reputation falling fast

The survey also continued a downward trend in regard to entrepreneurs' reputations. Entrepreneurs were only rated highly by 40 percent of respondents, two percent less than the previous year and a massive 21 percent less than the first survey in 2007. "In the population, entrepreneurs are often equated with managing directors of large companies who earn an above-average amount of money," said Matthes. However, this perception of entrepreneurs is often erroneous, as craftsmen and small business owners fall into the bracket of entrepreneur. This suggests that being self-employed in Germany is less respected than it might be in other countries.

The reputation of civil servants has similarly suffered due to the incorrect perception that civil servants are simply people working in public administration. "Most people associate the term “civil servants” with public administration employees who sit in their offices and make decisions according to given patterns," Matthes explained. However, this is not the case, as, for example, police officers also fall under the umbrella of “civil servants.”

The most and least reputable jobs in Germany

The following jobs are ranked by the percentage of respondents who hold them in either high or very high regard in 2021.

  • Fireman – 94 percent
  • Nurse – 89 percent
  • Doctor – 88 percent
  • Carer – 87 percent
  • Police officer – 85 percent
  • Childcare worker – 81 percent
  • Teacher – 69 percent
  • Forest ranger – 62 percent
  • Soldier – 53 percent
  • Postman – 52 percent
  • Journalist – 41 percent
  • Entrepreneur – 40 percent
  • Civil servant – 34 percent
  • Bank employee – 24 percent
  • Politician – 22 percent
  • Telephone company employee – 13 percent
  • Advertising employee – 10 percent
  • Insurance agents – 8 percent
William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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