What do we do to make our livings? What are our motivations for doing it? Do we enjoy what we do or are we laboring away at something we can't stand?
Whatever it is and however we do it, joyfully, half-heartedly or resentfully, I submit that for most of us living in the States (or anywhere else) it is the individual doing the task who gives respectability and standing to the work.
My Dad was a plumber and my sister and I are nurses--up to our elbows everyday in--you know--whatever...But he was the best damn plumber and we are the best damn nurses we are capable of being. We go to our jobs prepared, we dig in and do it wholeheartedly and with dignity. We maintain the standards of the professions and we maintain the standards we hold for ourselves as human beings living in a flawed race of individuals.
No manner of employment or profession is inherently bad or good--it is the individual that makes it so.
Priests and clergymen: awe inspiring we used to think, but now, not so much.
Bankers and financiers: likewise.
Experts, in any area: are expert in getting their own paychecks first, so buyer beware.
If you don't like what you do, advance honorably, don't leave a pile of crap in the chair when you go.
Life itself is the hardest thing any of us will ever do--do it with care.