You often see pilots using some of their certifications as name suffixes. eg. John Smith, CFI or John Smith, ATP CFII. The Wikipedia page for ATP mentions that the ATP may be used as a name suffix but provides no reference. Does anyone know which certifications may be used as a name suffix and how they are properly used?


1 Answer 1


I don't know that there's any kind of official rule about what name suffixes a person may use. I suppose as long as he is not being subversive then there's no problem.

These would fall under the "professional" suffix category and like many suffixes may only be recognized by people familiar with a certain industry. For example, CISSP or CISM may only be recognized, ie. they know what it stands for, by those who work in information technology and other related fields.

If it isn't a professional FAA certification, then obviously, it shouldn't be used as a suffix. I have seen the following used as a suffix or listed as a desirable qualification:

  1. CFI, CFI-I, CFI-G and MEI

  2. AGI, BGI, IGI

  3. ATP, ATP-R

  4. DPE

There is, however, a point that shouldn't be missed; you won't see pilots going around signing documents and adding suffixes at the end of their name like a doctor, but it is usually a way of conveying to an audience what that person's qualification or source of legitimacy is such as on a business card, advertisement, or flight school staff page.

A commercial pilot would not use that qualification like a suffix because it is not commonly abbreviated, and without any other qualification that would imply that a commercial certificate is held, they are extremely limited on what they can actually get paid to fly for. Therefore, the advertising aspect is irrelevant because there is virtually no public target audience.

The lack of a public advertising target also goes for certificated flight dispatchers.

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    $\begingroup$ I have to agree, that unless I'm trying to convey my qualifications quickly to a targeted audience, signing my name "Ron Beyer PPL" or "Pilot Ron Beyer" will probably do nothing more than label me as arrogant or show-off-ish. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 26, 2016 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ DPEs (Designated Pilot Examiners), along with Designated Engineering Representatives (DERs), Designated Airworthiness Representatives (DARs), and designated Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) are technically "FAA Designees", so I'm not sure if that would be handled under the "professional certification" style or not (probably a question for The Workplace) - the DERs I've worked with usually have "FAA DER (whatever field)" on their cards as either a title or notation but there's probably no hard-and-fast rule here. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jun 27, 2016 at 19:22
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    $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer I completely agree. -Ryan Burnette, CPL CFI MEI AGI IGI ;) $\endgroup$
    – ryan1618
    Jun 29, 2016 at 13:33

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