How to Address an Engineer

How to Address an Engineer

Engineer in the U.S.A.
In the U.S. engineers are addressed two ways:
——–Mr./Ms. (Full name)

——–(Full name), (Post nominals for degrees, certifications, etc.)

The first is a social form.  The second is the official form when it is pertienent to note the degrees held.   In a professional context engineers may include post nominals for higher degrees, professional certifications and licenses. In academia, faculty engineers with doctorates will be addressed as Dr. (Full Name) in writing and Dr. (Surname) in conversation just like all the other professors.
How to Address an Engineer

Engineer Elsewhere in the World
In some cultures, engineer is used as an honorific in the way doctor is used in English. (Engineer, Engenheiro, Ingeniero, Inziner, etc.) It often appears as:

—-Eng. (Name)

—-Dear Eng. (Surname)

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Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address an Engineer
How to Address a County Engineer?

—-For an elected county engineer, would you use The Honorable on the envelope? For example, would this be proper if you were an elected county engineer?
————The Honorable Robert Koval
————Lake County Engineer
————————— G.L.G. in Lake County

Dear Mr. G.L.G.:
The form you have looks O.K. if the county engineer is elected in a general election (like a mayor or member of the US House of Representatives).

Since I have not run into many The Honorable county engineers it brings to mind one caveat I should mention about city officials.  Many municipalities do not address elected officials below the rank of mayor as The Honorable.

For example, I now live in New York City and all the members of the New York City Council are addressed as The Honorable (Full Name). But I was brought up in Arlington, Virginia, and there none of the members of the Arlington County Board are so addressed.

So before you proceed, check for the local tradition. It’s less a matter of what could be correct – than what the particular county, city, or town traditionally does.
—-—-—-— Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”