The use of business titles in Mexican business life is important.
Most people with professional degrees are addressed using their professional title. This is especially true in written communication. Failure to do so can be seen as lack of education and offensive.
Until you get to know a person, always use the professional title or full name, never address them by their first name until it is clear that they are comfortable with this.
You can ask how they wish to be addressed if unsure. It’s better to make a mistake on the side of formality.
Some titles are general, and when in doubt regarding the professional title, you should use these:
- Joven – refers to any young man from birth to adolescent.
- Señor (Sr.) – refers to any male older than an adolescent.
- Don – a term of great respect used to recognize older males.
- Señorita (Srta.) – refers to any unmarried female. Once a woman is above a certain age, she is referred to as Señora, even if unmarried.
- Señora (Sra.) – refers to any married or widowed woman.
- Doña – a term of great respect used to recognize older females.
- Doctor (Dr.) masculine, or Doctora (Dra.) feminine – Refers to anyone with a PhD. or Medical Doctors degree.
- Licenciado (Lic.) masculine, or Licenciada (Lic.) feminine – refers to anyone with a law degree (most common usage) or Bachelor’s Degree.
- Contador Publico (C.P.) – refers to anyone with a public accounting degree.
- Ingeniero (Ing.) – refers to someone with an engineering degree.
- Arquitecto (Arq.) – Refers to anyone with an arquitectural degree.
- Diputado (Dip.) masculine, or Diputada (Dip.) feminine – refers to a publicly elected official equivalent to Federal, State or Local representative in the USA.