A BizWritingTip reader wrote: I often see titles written without capitals, for example, Joe Blow, pharmacy manager, … . I would normally use capitals on these words but maybe a rule has changed, and I missed it!
BizWritingTip response: The style today with regard to capitalizing words within sentences is called modified down. In other words, lowercase words are generally preferred.
Therefore, if a title follows a name and is separated from it by a comma, use the lowercase for the title.
Joe Blow, pharmacy manager, chaired the meeting.
Tony Clement, federal health minister, attended the conference.
If a formal title directly precedes the name, then it would be capitalized.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
However, if the title stands alone or is plural, write it as a lowercase,
The mayor was re-elected.
Two premiers, Gordon Campbell and Gary Doer, met to discuss the issue.
Don’t forget that occupations are always lowercased: nurses, doctors, teachers, engineers, etc.