The other day, redditor u/atomicturdburglar asked the internet, "Which profession unfairly gets a bad rap?" And they opened up about jobs people typically misjudge that deserve more respect — and it's pretty eye-opening.
Here are some of the most intriguing responses:
1."Meteorologists. There are always a lot of jokes along the lines of 'must be nice to be wrong half the time and still keep your job.' Do you know how difficult it is to predict the weather two to three days out, let alone a week out?"
2."Embalmers. It can be a thankless job, and people think they are creepy, but who else would do that?"
"Embalmer here. Luckily, it isn’t always thankless. Surprisingly, in my experience, families do appreciate and understand the care taken with their loved one, which makes it all worth it. But people definitely assume we’re creepy/morbid/obsessed with death when they hear 'embalmer.' And while it’s true sometimes, overall we’re a (relatively) normal bunch who have the unique gift of somehow being able to healthily compartmentalize the horrific things we see on a daily basis."
3."Janitors. Give them respect, people, unless you want to empty your own trash and clean your own work or school space. Seriously, being nice to the janitor saved my tail one time when I was locked out of a room that contained some vital work material."
"The big boss didn't have keys to that room, but guess who did?"
"I’m a teacher, and the first people I befriended at the school were the janitors — they keep that place running. I made a point to learn about them, things they like, etc. and on Custodian Appreciation Day as well as Christmas, I make sure to get them a little something as my way of saying thanks."
4."Plastic surgeons. They don’t just do cosmetics — they also do some live-saving procedures for people in accidents, car wrecks, etc."
"I had a tummy tuck — not just for looks but because my ab separation was causing lots of health issues. My plastic surgeon was more kind and understanding than any other doctor I’ve ever been to. She’s awesome. I interviewed a bunch, and I was in awe at the time they all took to explain things to me and genuinely answer my questions instead of trying to herd me out the door."
5."Airline employees. Sorry, but for 90% of problems at the airport, the passenger got themselves into it, or it’s completely out of the airline's control. We can't control the weather, and when we tell you it’s an ATC (air traffic control) delay, that's not code for anything — that’s really what is happening."
"I can't take off without permission and a time slot."
6."Childcare workers. We work hard all day long, receive horrible pay, work horrible hours, get little to no respect, get little to no PTO, are guilt-tripped for taking sick days, are told to do more and more random things day in day out by management, are expected to follow routines parents don’t even follow at home, and still show up to work."
"Nannies. I’ve been in private childcare for over 10 years now. I've had great clients, ones who have treated me like the help, and even one or two who made me extremely uncomfortable. For a long time, I was made to feel like my time as a nanny was just something I could do until I go to school, get a degree, and have a 'successful' career. But the longer I nanny, the more I realize this is what I am meant to be doing."
"And because I've been doing it for so long, I make way more money than I ever thought I would in childcare."
7."Lawyers. When they're ~your~ lawyer, they're good. But people often don't understand what the job of a lawyer truly is, so they're quick to demonize them. Yeah, there are some who are out there abusing loopholes and being scummy, but most lawyers are just doing what they're supposed to — making sure their client is getting charged fairly. Even if they are guilty, they're still there to ensure a just punishment and not overkill."
"Most people don’t realize that, like doctors, there are many different types of lawyers who specialize in many different areas of law. I've had many friends ask me for legal advice for some random traffic ticket or family law issue, and I always have to tell them I know just the bare minimum about those things — but if they want a patent, I’m their guy. It would be like asking an orthopedist to take a look at your heart. They can probably give you some good tips, but it’s not their specialty."
"Unfortunately, most people's only interaction with lawyers comes during very stressful and usually not-so-great times in their lives, and that usually leads to negative connotations."
8."Dentists. We really ARE just trying to help you save your teeth — and it’s really NOT fun to have patients immediately say how much they hate the dentist before they even say hello."
"I've had the same dentist for 15 years. She's the professional I respect and like the most among those I consult 'regularly.' I'd really like to have some conversation with her out of her office just for fun, because she simply seems to be a really great person. There was a time in my life where I wouldn't take enough care of my teeth, so I can't blame her for all the interventions I had to go through. Like everyone else, I hate (or really dislike) all the shots and drilling, but my life would be a nightmare without a skilled dentist, so I thank her and her staff after each appointment."
"I once called back a week after a tricky intervention to let them know everything was perfect, and to please thank her and the staff (again). The receptionist told me that such calls were extremely rare. I understand how your job can be mentally tough, but know that some of your patients really appreciate what you do."
9."Dishwashers. Nobody thinks to credit the dishwasher in having a well-run restaurant, but when we're missing ours, things start to slow down, a lot."
"Our dishwasher gets paid $22 an hour, but he works pretty dang hard, he helps us clean the tables when we're short at the front, and he's constantly helping sort/unpack inventory when it comes in. It's almost unfair to just call him a dishwasher. Days when he's gone, we have to lend a FoH to the back, which reduces service capacity, and then tired staff has to do wash duty; this can take an extra hour, which sucks and leaves us grumpy."
10."Call center workers. Yes, we know that you are not happy with (insert whatever you or the client did here). We know that you don't like having to do verification or to click through options when you dial in. No amount of verbal abuse, slurs, or sexual harassment will change that this happens."
"Also, this doesn't include scam call centers ('your car warranty is expiring,' fake tech support centers, etc.), but it does include legitimate outbound centers (like collections and sales) and outsourced centers in countries like India, Mexico, and the Philippines. Yes, they can be annoying, but that doesn't change that there is an actual human being on the other side of the phone who is just trying to do their job. They were probably placed on the other side of the phone because of a decision made by some freak in a suit who hasn't interacted with us in decades — not because they're actively trying to annoy you."
11."Journalists. I feel like almost any crime drama seems to feature scenes where throngs of shouting, callous reporters camp outside people's houses the moment there is any sniff of a story. But from my perspective, having worked for the press for many years and covering these types of stories, that almost never happens. I can't speak for other countries, but here in the UK where I work, there are strict rules when it comes to privacy and intrusion into grief and shock. 99.99% of the colleagues I've worked with over the years got into journalism because they genuinely wanted to make a difference, shining a light onto real injustices, corruption, and society's most pressing issues. Yes, there are certainly a few bad apples and publications that tar an entire industry with an ugly brush, but it's also a vital pillar of democracy, and journalists have helped to bring down seriously corrupt individuals in office."
"Most journalists are also paid terribly and face everyday abuse, and some work in extremely dangerous situations and warzones in the name of transparency."
12."Mostly because their work goes unnoticed most of the time, but car detailers — especially the ones that work for a dealership. If you want to piss one off, go over to them and say, 'You missed a spot.' That is neither funny nor clever. The salespeople treat them like crap because 'it's an unskilled job; anyone can do it.' Anyone can do it, but only SOME do it well. Salespeople have tried to do it themselves, and they usually screw it up."
13."People who work at McDonald’s/in fast food. People always say crap like, 'You better work/study hard, or you’ll end up working at McDonald’s.' Work is work, and I honestly have far more respect for fast-food workers than the CEO of pretty much any major corporation."
"People who work in the fast-food industry have more hustle and work ethic than most people do in corporate America (me being one of them, LOL). One of my high school teachers used to say if you could hack it at McDonald's, you're a shoe-in for any job you want."
"McDonald's workers get the worst rap. I'm educated and about to finish a B.S. in mechanical engineering with a minor in robotics and automation, but my girlfriend's parents are convincing her to leave me because I'm working at McDonald's for the summer."
14."Social workers. We're underfunded, understaffed civil servants attempting to help populations of individuals with multiple overlapping problems (poverty, mental health struggles, criminal records, substance use issues, etc.) get their lives back on track."
"The people others walk by on the sidewalk or avoid eye contact with on the subway are the ones we seek out and try to help, and usually, no one is happy with what we have to offer. Also, red tape...lots of government red tape."
"My husband is a social worker. You say underfunded; I say criminally underpaid. It’s so bad that if inflation keeps up, I don’t think we'll be able to afford for him to continue at his job — and he’s a supervisor for his team! Plus, he continues maintaining a caseload."
"People don’t understand how criminally underpaid these people are and how little thanks or appreciation they really get."
15."Nurses...especially now. So many of us are burnt out and understaffed — it's just horrendous."
"How come no one’s clapping anymore? Last I was told I was a hero was at least a year ago. I hated all of it BTW."
"I had my appendix burst a couple of weeks ago. When I was fixing to leave, like, four different nurses came by to tell me how much they liked having me as a patient because I wasn't an a-hole."
"I had surgery not too long ago, and my night nurse was one of the best people I’ve ever met. She was so kind, and I was in awe of everything she did. Poor woman was a champ having to clean up after me. I don’t think I’ve ever written a better review for someone. She deserves all the money."
16."Cleaners. People used to treat me like furniture and assumed all kinds of things about me. That was the best-paying job I ever held, with the best benefits, and most vacation! I went back to school for a more 'dignified' career, and my 'dignified' job sitting at a desk ended up being worse in every way."
"I don’t feel cleaners get a bad rap per se, but under appreciated and made of fun by younger generations."
"Meanwhile, we're busy keeping bathrooms clean, dining rooms tidy-mopped and vacuumed, back areas tidied and organized, linens bagged and taken away, trash and recycling taken care of, and the list goes on. Sometimes, we have to do light maintenance work, too, like fixing sinks and clogged pipes. I work on a mountain, so I've been asked by guests to help fix their mountain bikes, ski, and snowboard bindings, so I always keep an extra pocket tool on hand."
17."People who work in manufacturing. 'Oh, you work at a factory?' People see sweatshop workers doing simple repetitive tasks and think it's menial labor, or they'll see Tony Stark put a picture in his computer and get an Iron Man suit and think it's as easy as pushing a button and the robots will do it for you."
"But you have to draw that picture for every. single. piece. Then, you have to tell the computer HOW you want each piece made. Then, you have to set up the machines to make the pieces and get your stock cut how you need it. Then, you have to make sure all of that work actually makes the pieces correctly, and they match the designs. And that's only part of the machining process. There are other things, like welding, fabrication, metal spray, plastic molding, paint, etc. that all have to play together to make whatever you're thinking of."
18."CPS investigators. Allow me to lay the rumors to bed. First, CPS does not steal or kidnap children. If you were unfortunate enough to have your child removed from your care, take responsibility and self-reflect. Rest assured, the CPS worker did not want to remove your child, so if yours got removed, you gave them no other option."
"Second, CPS doesn't get a bonus for every child they bring into custody. Believe me, they do not get paid enough to do their job as it is, let alone any bonuses. And where would this money come from? The government barely has the funding to pay/reimburse foster parents for taking in kids. Hell, the whole child welfare system as a whole barely has the funding across the board to care for these kids. Where are bonuses supposed to come from?
Third, there are no 'quotas' on how many kids are removed. No nationwide adoption conspiracy to take children from their homes. Seriously, no social worker/CPS investigator goes into their work each day wanting to take kids from their homes. None. No power trips (because that power isn't even in their hands — it's up to a damn judge). Nothing. It's a sad day for everybody when this happens. Sad for the families, sad for the kids, and sad for the social worker, too."
19."Plumbers. People always assume they’re gross, greasy old dudes, but really they’re extremely skilled professionals."
"I’m a plumber/pipefitter, and I've had so many customers question my line of work and talk down about it. Like, ma’am, it’s the middle of winter and your boiler's down. I can go home to my nice warm house while you sit here freezing and not give a single f**k. Now shut up before I double your bill."
20."Any tradespeople, really (carpenters, plumbers, etc). They're often viewed with contempt or are seen as sleazy a-holes who try to rip people off at any chance they get. While there are terrible tradesmen out there, an overwhelming majority of them will go above and beyond to get the job done."
21."People who work in veterinary medicine. Extremely low wages, very high suicide rates, and everyone thinks we're in it for the money or don’t know what we’re doing. The burnout and turnover are truly unlike any other profession."
"I'm a veterinary nurse, and the amount of staff turnover we have from depression/burnout/stress is massive. Most of my vet friends do not want to be in the profession any more. We try our hardest and look out for the best interests of the animals — and all people think is that we're after their money. Clients get surprisingly aggressive and nasty when it comes to their animals and take all their frustrations out on us."
"People assume we earn a lot, when most nurses are on low $20K salaries and vets on around $30K. Please be nice to us — we genuinely love and care about your animals!"
22."Mechanics. Everyone thinks we’re putting so much effort into screwing you over."
"I've definitely had one or two mechanics try to pull fast-ones on me (I've worked in automotive engineering), but when you find a good one, they're great. Also, don't underestimate how tough it can be working in a garage in all sorts of weather. I had a mate who would turn up to work in like five jumpers and have to keep them all on because it was that cold."
23."Bartenders. Everyone thinks they can do our job because of that one time they opened Bud Lights at a company picnic a few years ago, and that there's no skill involved. My idea for a reality show is to take those types and put them behind a bar that's three deep in the weeds while Karen screams at them about slow service because she thinks it's the ideal time to order craft cocktails and closes out after every round."
"Not to mention the crap us 'lifers' have to deal with. Even people in our own families think we're losers because we chose this over a more 'respectable' career. Nevermind that plenty of us are college-educated, only to realize we actually make more doing this than the more 'respectable' career we intended to go into."
24."Garbage disposal workers. I've heard many times from many people that it's the type of job you get if you don't go to college. But my dad loved that job more than building fridges for another company. Not only was he paid more, but if he found something cool there, he got to take it home with him."
"My mom eventually had to tell him to stop bringing things home, though, because it was a lot. LOL."
25."Tattoo artists. Ive been told countless times from others that it’s a 'sketchy' job, but a lot of the tattoo artists I’ve met are really neat or chill. I just know too many people who give the job a bad rap."
26."Artists of all mediums. From live-performance to in-studio creations. The fields are saturated full of talented and knowledgable artists, but also full of people who behave in poor ways to give artists a bad rep (people love to generalize!)."
"Yes, creative fields such as the arts are unorthodox and can be heavily subjective in values and certifications, but that doesn’t make employment in the arts any less than a job in any other field. It’s f**king difficult. Artists get a bad rap, and it doesn’t help when people who know nothing about what they do ignorantly claim that they themselves can do it because 'it’s so easy.'"
27."Salespeople. Your companies live and die by the resources, materials, products, and technology they use, but the salespeople they work with to identify their business needs get treated like ass."
28."Professional wrestlers. It takes a lot to go into any theater, and a lot to go into a kind of theater as physically demanding as that. But I'm a fan, so I might be biased."
"Pro wrestlers go through so much for the entertainment of the masses. Mick Foley really did a lot of that crazy sh*t. Just because it was somewhat planned doesn’t mean it’s anything less safe. Like, no matter what you say, jumping off a 20-foot ladder onto a table is gonna be painful."
29."Teachers. There are obviously good ones and bad ones, but most of us got into this crappy profession because we love your kids."
"For a brief moment at the beginning of COVID, us teachers finally started getting recognized for all of our hard work. But then fall came, and when we wanted to ensure we were protected and safe and were afraid to go back into the schools, we were told to shut up and do our jobs."
"Can’t imagine why so many are leaving the profession in droves."
What are some other professions that are often unappreciated and/or deserve more respect? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.