Engineering beat out accounting and the ministry when it came to adults' dream careers for their kids says a Harris Interactive survey conducted on behalf of the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES), with a grant from the United Engineering Foundation.

Using a scale from one to ten, adults were asked to rate how pleased they'd be if their child were to enter a particular profession. Engineering and science received nines, accounting rated an eight, and ministry a seven.

The high marks for engineering as a profession were consistent across all groups, regardless of respondents' gender, age, education level, or interest in engineering.

When asked to explain why they'd be happy if their child became an engineer, the ability to "make a positive contribution to society" was cited as often as to "earn a good salary." Other reasons included the ability to do "interesting work," as well as the profession's prestige.

It seems Americans hold the engineering profession in high regard. According to the survey, 77% of respondents said engineers are largely responsible for a high standard of living. Engineers are thought to create strong economic growth, preserve national security, and make strong leaders.

"Engineering touches every part of our lives in a variety of ways," says Henry J. Hatch, P.E. and chair of the AAES Committee on the Public Awareness of Engineering. "These survey results are a strong indication that the vast majority of people support our work and our goals and offer a powerful endorsement of the profession."

The survey was released in conjunction with National Engineers Week, which is dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of engineering.