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I am pretty sure it shouldn't, but want to make sure that I am doing this correctly in a proposal that I am working on.

Should job titles like "Project Manager" ever be capitalized, and if so when?

In particular I am concerned about capitalization in sentences like this where the title refers to a specific person, not the role in general.

"The Project Manager will evaluate the alternatives and offer a solution."

I'm a lot more certain that it should NOT be capitalized in sentences like this.

"A project manager is the person who manages the budget and deliverable for a project."

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"Should 'Project Manager' be capitalized?" Not if he's anything like mine. :-) –  Urbycoz Sep 30 '11 at 14:50

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Agreed on both counts regarding the examples in the OP. That is, job titles should be capitalized when they are taking the place of a single person (or otherwise acting as a name of an entity). However, there is no need to capitalize in other cases, and it would be strange if capitalized in the second example, unless it were in a company operations manual, for example.

A similar example is when you capitalize "dad" in the sentence:

I'm going fishing with Dad tomorrow.

However you don't capitalize it in the following version:

I'm going fishing with my dad tomorrow.

The former replaces a name, where the latter simply states the relationship of the person.

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Yes. And of course there are other contexts where a title like "Project Manager" would typically be capitalised, such as one's business card, CV, or LinkedIn profile. –  Jonik Aug 19 '10 at 22:40
    
I don't think this is right. You don't say "I'm going fishing with the Teacher tomorrow" or "The Teacher gave us a lot of homework." –  onomatomaniak Sep 30 '11 at 11:29
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@onomatomaniak: No, but you would probably punctuate it "I'm going fishing with Teacher tomorrow" (if you'd say that at all, of course!). This is what Lee said. –  Billy Sep 30 '11 at 12:08
    
@Billy The example that Lee says is correct has project manager capitalized in just the way I've capitalized teacher (The Project Manager will...). That's my objection. "Dad" is used more as a name than a title, as is "Teacher" in your example, assuming it's a little kid talking (which is the only context I can imagine that being said). –  onomatomaniak Sep 30 '11 at 12:55
    
What about: "I'm attending an interview with Project Manager tomorrow." VS "I'm attending an interview with my project manager tomorrow morning."? –  delete this account Mar 22 at 6:05

The Guardian style guide says:

jobs all lc, eg prime minister, US secretary of state, chief rabbi, editor of the Guardian.

titles cap up titles, but not job description, eg President Barack Obama (but the US president, Barack Obama, and Obama on subsequent mention); the Duke of Westminster (the duke at second mention); Pope Benedict XVI but the pope.

Project manager is a job not a title, so should be lowercase in both examples:

"The project manager will evaluate the alternatives and offer a solution."

"A project manager is the person who manages the budget and deliverable for a project."

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As Lee answered, when you replace a name with a pronoun, you capitalize it. However your first example is using it as an improper noun and it should simply read:

"The project manager..."

The only job titles I can think of to capitalize are honorifics that are included with names - like royalty. I would for instance capitalize:

Her Royal Highness, Queen Victoria and Professor Moriarty

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