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The Top 5 most respected professions in the world

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay | 29 April 2021


Choosing one’s career path often comes down to the same few factors: passion, pay, and prestige. 

Though we typically prioritise our interests or an attractive salary package, the desire for status and respect is also all-too-common. Working a “prestigious” job can grant one a sense of fulfillment, confidence, and even nobility; knowing they’re making an impact on society and the lives of others. 

In fact, such meaningful work is often a critical priority among Australian workers, with over two-thirds stating this led to higher overall happiness levels in the workplace (according to Business Insider). 

We thus explore some of the world’s most respected professions below, and how one can build their skills to pursue them. 

Psychiatrist

With their dedication to better mental health, psychiatrists are often highly respected for their ability to treat and help those with enduring social, emotional, and behavioural disorders.

Psychiatrists are responsible for diagnosing, assessing, and administering medication (or therapy) to patients struggling with various psychological problems. This may involve performing imaging, neuropsychological and other diagnostic tests to determine the appropriate form of treatment.

Patients are then typically monitored over their treatment process and may attend regular counselling sessions with a psychologist. Through this, psychiatrists help their clients successfully manage, ease, or eliminate a psychological issue altogether. 

While graduation from an accredited medical school – and eventual registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency – is necessary to gain employment in this field, starting professionals can have a feel of the industry through courses in mental health and counselling. Upskilled, for instance, currently offers a CHC51015 – Diploma of Counselling and a CHC43315 – Certificate in Mental Health; giving aspiring psychiatrists a first look into common behavioural therapies and intervention methods.

What is the salary range?

According to Talent.com, the average salary for Australian psychiatrists is $190,910 a year. Salaries can range from $34,815 to as high as $224,575.

Scientist

woman scientist looking through microscope

With their ability to make new, often life-changing discoveries, the scientific community is typically seen as admirable, ambitious, and highly-respectable in what they do. In fact, 2020 YouGov findings show that scientists rank the highest among respected professions in both Australia and around the world. 

Scientists are professionals who gather data, perform research, and conduct experiments to further general knowledge in a specific area. Their profession can thus be found across varying fields – including agriculture; medicine; environment and conservation; anthropology, and biology. Those looking to pursue this role thus have plenty of choice on where to specialise, with strong or stable job demand among most.  

The field is best suited to those who excel in logical, critical, and analytical thinking; as well as possess a naturally inquisitive, curious character.

What is the salary range?

According to Talent.com, the average salary for Australian scientists is $93,328 a year. Salaries can range from $78,697 to as high as $130,000.

Management Consultant

Management consultants are dedicated to improving the aspects of one’s business, including their public image, internal processes, management, and employee productivity. Through their skills in helping companies grow and improve, many often deem them as highly-respected, experienced professionals. 

In fact, the profession ranks among the top 10 most respected roles around the world, according to 2019 statistics by the World Economic Forum. 

Management consultants spend much of their time researching and analysing data surrounding a company, its industry, and potential competitors. This information is then communicated to relevant stakeholders through comprehensive reports and presentations – requiring strong public speaking and communication skills to succeed in the role. 

While a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration (or a related field) is often crucial, those new to the profession can start building their skills through a project management course. Upskilled currently offers a BSB50820 – Diploma of Project Management, equipping aspiring management consultants with fundamental skills in managing company projects, employees, and large teams. 

What is the salary range?

According to Payscale, the average salary for Australian management consultants is $87,835 a year. Salaries can range from $60,000 to as high as $161,000.

Senior Manager

woman senior manager having a serious discussion

Similarly to management consultants, senior managers are also highly revered for their skills in attaining business success. The role currently lands among the top five most respected professions in Australia, according to YouGov statistics

Senior managers take on the critical responsibility of planning and directing the operations of a company. They may manage employees directly or employ a team of supervisors to do so. As a senior position, those in this role are often tasked with guiding the largest or most important groups in an organisation. Their tasks may include overseeing the business’ hiring and firing processes, managing financial budgeting, and ensuring productive collaboration between teams. 

As with management consultants, successful senior managers typically hold at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration (or a related field), though starting professionals can hone their skills through diploma or certificate courses. Upskilled’s BSB40520 – Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, for example, offers comprehensive deep-dives into the basics of business planning, workplace leadership, and general business administration.

What is the salary range?

According to Talent.com, the average salary for Australian senior managers is $128,012 a year. Salaries can range from $80,000 to as high as $180,721.

Nurse

As a profession dedicated to saving lives, nurses deservedly rank among the top 10 most respected professions around the globe and in Australia. According to Gallup surveys, nurses are also consistently viewed as the “most ethical profession” currently available.

Typically working for hospitals or medical clinics, nurses are responsible for providing regular care, treatment, and therapy to patients; monitoring their health or recovery progress. They may also participate in health education-related activities, helping promote health, wellness, and the prevention of disease. 

Job Outlook currently predicts strong future growth for this profession. Those in the field commonly hold a bachelor’s degree and are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Those just entering the field, however, can have a feel for common tasks in the role through small certificate courses in individual support.

Upskilled currently offers students both a CHC33015 – Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) and a CHC33015 – Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home, and Community) to help equip one with basic skills in client care and medical support. 

What is the salary range?

According to Talent.com, the average salary for Australian registered nurses is $77,225 a year. Salaries can range from $75,036 to as high as $91,777.

What qualifications do you need to get a prestigious job?

The knowledge, training, and experience required for a “prestigious job” will depend on the specific role. As discussed in the previous – most typically require tertiary qualifications and registration with a recognised industry body to verify their skills. 

However, those with little to no experience can start building their skills and knowledge through diploma or certificate-level courses. Though not necessarily a pathway to instant employment, students can arm themselves with the fundamental training required to pursue higher-level qualifications or related, entry-level roles. For example, aspiring psychiatrists or nurses can get a “taste” of these fields through starting courses in community services – such as those that focus on counselling, mental health, and individual patient support. 

Build the skills you need for a respected profession today

Through course training, starting professionals can then determine whether a career path is a good fit, or if their passions and strengths lie in another, possibly related field. In the former case, the individual will then have the necessary skills to continue up the ladder.

As mentioned, Upskilled currently offers a wide range of these training opportunities, helping career-focused individuals build the basic skills required to pursue high-paying, prestigious professions. From fundamental courses in business to valuable, experiential training in community services – students can launch their journey to a respected career through the varying programs available.
 
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