The Most Loved Professions

Thinking about some professions make pleasant images pop into our heads. Why do we hold these jobs and the people who do them in such high regard? It may have to do with your personal experience with a particular profession, for example, if you had a teacher who significantly influenced your life. More likely our opinions have to do with how these professions are portrayed in the media, on television, and in the movies. Let's take a look at why we love (or hate) some professions. While we're at it, we should learn the truth about them. Having the facts on a variety of occupations can influence your future career choice.

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A science teacher with two students
A science teacher explains an experiment to his students. Cavan Images / Digital Vision / Getty Images

Why We Love Teachers: Teachers go to bat for their students and inspire them to succeed in school and life. Who wouldn't want to climb on board Ms. Frizzle's Magic School Bus or star in Mr. Schuester's next school show?

The Truth About Teachers: A teacher instructs students, helping them learn concepts in subjects such as science, mathematics, language arts, social studies, art, and music. They also show them how to apply these concepts. Most importantly, many also inspire their students to be their best selves. Teachers are required to have at least a bachelor's degree, but many also need a master's degree.

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A nurse in a hospital hallway
A nurse records notes on a patient's chart. Tetra Images / Brand X Pictures / Getty Images

Why We Love Nurses: We usually think of nurses as kind, benevolent people who care for us when we are feeling our worst. Sure evil nurses like Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest are part of pop culture, but so are nurses like Edie Falco's Nurse Jackie. Though a flawed character, her primary goal is to help her patients.

The Truth About Nurses: Registered nurses (RNs) treat and educate patients and their families about medical conditions. They perform diagnostic tests and help doctors analyze the results. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), working under the supervision of RNs and doctors, care for sick, injured, or disabled patients. 

To become an RN, earn a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma in nursing. BSN programs are generally four-years long, while it takes two to three years to earn an ADN. Diploma programs also last about three years. To work as an LPN, complete a state-approved training program that includes a combination of classroom study and supervised clinical practice.

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The President

Future President
A future president. Andrew Rich / Vetta / Getty Images

Why We Love The President: It's not that we always love the person who is The President, but many people admire the office tremendously. How often do people tell their young children to grow up to be president? Ironically, the President is the number one politician in the country and politician is one of the most hated professions.

The Truth About Becoming President: Most U.S. presidents began their careers as attorneys before entering politics. There is no formal training to become a politician or president for that matter. Most occupations of The White House previously another political office like governor, Senator, or Congressperson.

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Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke and children
Mary Poppins is the most famous nanny ever. Photo (c) Silver Screen Collections / Getty Images

Why We Love Nannies: Who didn't love Julie Andrews as the original Mary Poppins and then Emily Blunt as the same character in Mary Poppins Returns? With a little bit of magic (and a spoonful of sugar) there wasn't any problem Mary couldn't solve.

The Truth About Nannies: Nannies care for children in their homes. They work for one family at a time and often live in their homes. A nanny isn't required to have any formal education, but the International Nanny Association, a professional organization, recommends that nannies have either a high school diploma or its equivalent.

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Football Player
A football player in action. Blend Images/Pete Saloutos / Blend Images / Getty Images

Why We Love Athletes: Sports fans don't just love athletes; they worship them. Little kids grow up wanting to emulate their favorite sports stars like Stephen Curry, and Kobe Bryant and some adults wish they were them. If these aspirations keep everyone away from the video games and physically active instead, it can only be a good thing.

The Truth About Athletes: Star athletes are among a precious few. Most athletes never go pro and of those that do, not many become famous. There are few opportunities for even the best athletes to compete professionally compared to the number of people who would like to. That's why having a backup plan is essential. Athletes' training consists of a tremendous amount of time spent practicing on the field, court, track, ice, etc.

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Actors and Musicians

Celebrity with paparazzi in the background
A celebrity gets her photo snapped. Tom Merton / OJO Images / Getty Images

Why We Love Actors and Musicians: Actors and musicians, like athletes, are also the object of society's collective affection. People have a fascination with anyone in the spotlight and more than a little bit of envy for the life they see famous actors and musicians leading.

The Truth About Actors and Musicians: While there are many famous actors and musicians, most people who choose a career in the performing arts do not find fame. A lot do not even find paying jobs because of the intense competition. Performers work hard to become better at their craft. Taking classes, practicing, and going out on auditions is very time-consuming.

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Special Agents

Undercover Special Agent
A special agent working undercover. airportrait / E+ / Getty Images

Why We Love Special Agents: Imagine being a hero who always catches the bad guys? Your days would be full of excitement and intrigue. Maybe Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson could play you in the movie based on your life. 

The Truth About Special Agents: Sometimes called detectives, special agents gather facts and collect evidence to determine if there have been violations of local, state, or federal laws. Unlike fictional special agents, real-life ones, despite their best efforts, don't always get the bad guy and prevent disasters. All special agents need at least a high school diploma, but most employers require some college coursework, if not a bachelor's degree.

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A doctor goes over test results with her patient. Cathy Yeulet / 123RF

Why We Love Doctors: Doctors have long been the heroes of many favorite television shows including classic shows like M*A*S*H and ER and more recently, Grey's Anatomy. These doctors/heroes saved many lives and lost some too, but the worst happened only after they had tried their best.

The Truth About Doctors: Doctors, after providing diagnoses, treat patients who are suffering from diseases and injuries. Like their fictional counterparts, they save many lives, but unfortunately, lose some too. Becoming a doctor requires many years of education. First, an aspiring doctor must earn a bachelor's degree, which generally takes four years. Then he or she must spend four years in medical school, followed by three to eight years of internship and residency.

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An archaeologist examines an artifact. Siri Stafford / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Why We Love Archaeologists: Two words: Indiana Jones. We followed Dr. Henry (Indiana) Jones' adventures as he rescued ancient artifacts from his enemies, narrowly escaping death.

The Truth About Archaeologists: Archaeologists learn about earlier civilizations by recovering and examining evidence that can include tools, cave paintings, the ruins of buildings, and pottery. To work in most settings, archaeologists must first earn a master's degree in archaeology, but those who want jobs in universities or colleges need a doctorate.