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The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) provides Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credentials representing an individual’s proficiency in sustainable design, construction and operation standards. It is a credential that takes one's green-building career to the next level. LEED professionals are in great demand, from construction and designs to operations and facility management.
Any professional interested in LEED green building can earn either a Green Associate credential or a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) credential by passing the respective exams conducted either at a center or online.
This article discusses the eligibility and procedure for becoming a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) in the U.S.
Different LEED AP Specialities
LEED AP credential can be taken for any of the following specializations as per the USGBC. These are the different rating systems of LEED:
- LEED AP Building Design + Construction ( LEED AP BD+C): For professionals with expertise in the design and construction phases of green buildings, serving the commercial, residential, education, and healthcare sectors.
- LEED AP Operations and Maintenance (LEED AP O+M): Distinguishes professionals implementing sustainable practices, improving performance, heightening efficiency, and reducing environmental impact in existing buildings through enhanced operations and maintenance.
- LEED AP Interior Design + Construction (LEED AP ID+C): For professionals involved in the design, construction, and improvement of commercial interiors and tenant spaces that offer a healthy, sustainable and productive work environment.
- LEED AP Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND): It is applicable for individuals participating in the planning, design and development of sustainable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
- LEED AP Homes: Suited for those involved in designing and constructinon of healthy, durable homes that use fewer resources and produce less waste.
Eligibility Requirements for LEED Accredited Professional
A LEED AP credential measures the advanced knowledge of the professional in green building and expertise in the LEED rating system. The basic requirements for a professional to apply for LEED AP credential are mentioned below:
- The individual must be at least 18 years of age or older.
- Must have a LEED Green Associate Credential.
- Previous work experience on a LEED-registered project is mandatory.
How to Apply for LEED Accredited Professional Credential?
Once an individual meets the basic eligibility requirements to apply for LEED AP, the next step is to apply for the exam. The steps involved in the process are:
- Log in to the usgbc.org website.
- Create your user account and navigate to the Credentials section.
- Under Credentials, choose the exam for LEED AP and complete the registration process.
- Schedule the date and location of the exam.
The exams are either conducted at a Prometric Testing Center or from home as a remote proctored online exam. More details on the exam preparation resources and details are given on the USGBC website.
LEED AP specialty exam costs $350 (LEED AP specialty only), and $250 (LEED Green Associate) for USGBC members. For those who do not have LEED Green Associate credentials, both the exams can be taken together. This would cost $550 for the combined exam and $400 for USGBC members.
One registration is valid for a period of one year. After one year, the individual needs to wait for 90 days before registering again.
LEED AP credential can be taken for any following specializations as per USGBC. They are:
1. LEED AP Building Design + Construction ( LEED AP BD+C)
2. LEED AP Operations and Maintenance (LEED AP O+M)
3. LEED AP Interior Design + Construction (LEED AP ID+C)
4. LEED AP Homes
LEED AP specialty exam costs $350 (LEED AP specialty only), and $250 (LEED Green Associate). For those who do not have LEED Green Associate credentials, both the exams can be taken together. This would cost $550 for the combined exam and $400 for USGBC members.