In the dictionary of Occupational Titles in the United States. The Theological Seminaries of the Conservative and Reform movements offter MHL and DHL programs that result in ordination. So, in a North American way of speaking, they are "rabbis", in the same way lawyers and accountants receive their accreditation having completed their professional tracks. Traditionally speaking, the rabbinate was never a profession with specific criteria, but a calling. Maimonides, for instance, was a doctor who served the spiritual needs of his generation. Then again, there were communities that supported its Torah scholars, and refered to them as "rabbi", based on their understanding of the "Sources", but it never was treated as a profession.
from the article: A Torah for Israel's Memorial Day and Independence Day 5772