The Least Trusted Profession In The Country Is ...

least trusted professionMembers of Congress and car salespeople wouldn't seem to have a lot in common. Politicians spend their days debating big national issues, like how to resolve the "fiscal cliff," while car salespeople spent their time trying to get customers to buy, say, the 2012 Honda Civic.

But when it comes to perceived honesty and ethical standards, Americans give these two professions relatively equivalent grades -- abysmal ones, according to a new poll by the Gallup Organization.

Survey respondents were asked to rate 22 professions on a five-point honesty and ethics scale, ranging from "very high" to "very low." Members of Congress were at the bottom, with a whopping 54 percent of respondents saying that Congress has "low" or "very low" standards for ethics. Forty-nine percent of the respondents said car salespeople have a "low" or "very low" ethical standards.

More:Using Ethics To Tackle Thorny Issues At Work

For the 36 years Gallup has been conducting this survey, members of Congress have received failing grades. The high point was post-9/11, when just 25 percent of Americans rated their honesty and ethical standards as "high" or "very high." (Senators, by the way, received only slightly better ratings, with 45 percent of respondents rating their ethical standards as low or very low.)

Car salespeople's perceived ethical standards have "never climbed out of the single-digit range in the history of the list," according to Gallup.

So Who Is Trusted?

Nurses received the highest rating in the Gallup poll, with 85 percent of respondents saying that nurses have high or very high ethical standards. That put them above clergy (No. 8 on the Gallup list) and several other medical practitioners, including:
  • pharmacists (No. 2).
  • doctors (No. 3).
  • dentists (No. 5).
  • psychiatrists (No. 9).

How would you rank these professions? And most importantly, where would you place your profession on this list?

Americans Think

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

More From AOL Jobs

Read Full Story