With more than 200,000 accredited professionals, LEED, which stands for Leadership In Energy And Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, real estate professionals all over the world are earning the LEED credentials to manage green building projects and to enhance their careers. In this article, i will answer some common questions that starters want to know to decide which LEED credential would work best for them and how can they earn their credential.
Question #1: What is the difference between a LEED certification and a LEED accreditation?
This is a widely asked question and starters tend to think that people can become LEED certified, which is not so true. Only buildings can become LEED certified and people can become LEED accredited. And it is worth saying that this difference can even be a question on the LEED Green Associate exam (we will discuss about the LEED Green Associate exam in the following paragraphs).
Question #2: Can anyone become LEED accredited, what are the eligibility requirements?
There is no eligibility requirement to become a LEED accredited professional other than being 18 years of age or older. In other words, anyone can become a LEED accredited professional by passing the desired LEED exam. There are different types of LEED professional credentials and each LEED credential requires passing a different exam.
Question #3: What are the types of LEED credentials and which exam should I pass to earn my desired credential?
The LEED Credentials are grouped into three tiers. The first tier is the LEED Green Associate exam and it can be earned by passing the LEED Green Associate exam. The LEED Green Associate exam is also the prerequisite for the second tier LEED credentials. The LEED Green Associate credential is created for professionals who want to demonstrate green building knowledge and expertise in nontechnical fields of practice, to denote basic knowledge of green design, construction, and operations. It is a great credential for individuals who want to have a good knowledge about green buildings, but rather does not choose to manage the LEED certification process.
For individuals that want to coordinate the whole LEED certification process, the second tier LEED credentials would be appropriate. There are five types of LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) credential with a specialty, which are:
- LEED AP Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD+C)
- LEED AP Interior Design + Construction (LEED AP ID+C)
- LEED AP Operations + Maintenance (LEED AP O+M)
- LEED AP Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND)
- LEED AP Homes
In order earn the above credentials, an individual first needs to pass the LEED Green Associate exam, and then also pass the desired LEED AP specialty exam.
The third and the last tier of LEED accreditations is the LEED Fellow credential, for which outstanding LEED APs who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in key mastery elements related to technical knowledge and skill can be eligible. It is important to note that there is no exam to take in order to become LEED Fellow, rather they are nominated and selected.
Question #4: How can I prepare for my LEED exam?
There are tons of resources to study for the LEED exams. Some are in high quality, while some others may not be enough to make you pass your exam on your first try. For candidates looking for a complete exam prep solution, I recommend the Leeducate’s LEED Green Associate Complete Exam Prep package that includes the best-selling LEED study guide, 9-hour online course, 4 full-length online practice tests, and study sheets. There is also a passing guarantee that comes with their complete exam prep, and you can get a full refund if you fail your exam on your first-try. This is a great solution for people who want to ace the LEED exam in the shortest amount of time possible. The online course can also be previewed on their website. And their online practice tests provide great feedback on every question.
For people who want to earn their LEED AP BD+C credential, they provide two different alternatives. For individuals that currently hold the LEED Green Associate credential, they offer the LEED AP BD+C Complete Exam Prep with the passing guarantee. For individuals that also need to take the LEED Green Associate exam, they offer the LEED Green Associate & AP BD+C Combined Complete Exam Prep, again with the passing guarantee.
Question #5: How do I register for my LEED exam?
To register for your LEED exam, visit the U.S. Green Building Council’s website (usgbc.org) and create a new account. Select the LEED credential you wish to apply for and follow the instructions to schedule your exam.
Question #6: Does my LEED credential expire?
LEED Green Associates and LEED APs with specialty should maintain their credentials by meeting the requirements of the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) every two years, or otherwise the credential will expire, and retaking the exam will be necessary to maintain the LEED professional credential.
Under the CMP, all the LEED Green Associates must earn 15 continuing education (CE) hours every two years, and LEED APs must earn 30 continuing education (CE) hours every two years after earning their credential.
Hope this helps and I wish you the best in building green!
Article Submitted By Community Writer