Get a description of LEED credentials: LEED Green Associate, LEED AP, LEED Fellow, Green Rater, and Green Classroom Professional.
- [Instructor] A LEED credential designates proficiency in green building design, construction and operations, and the LEED certification process. Currently, there are globally more than 200,000 LEED credentialed professionals. There are three tiers of LEED credentialing, LEED Green Associate, LEED Accredited Professional, typically called LEED AP, and LEED Fellow. The first two tiers, LEED Green Associate and LEED Accredited Professional credentials, are based on professional exams that are administered by the Green Business Certification Inc., GBCI.
The third tier, LEED Fellow, is a nomination-based leadership title. LEED Green Associate is the first step in LEED credentialing. This credential verifies general knowledge of green building concepts and the LEED certification process itself. The second tier, LEED AP with Specialty, demonstrates a deep knowledge of green buildings, the LEED certification process, and technical knowledge of LEED credits and prerequisites in the pursued specialty. LEED AP designation requires LEED Green Associate credential as a prerequisite.
There are five LEED AP specialties you can choose from. These specialties are based on available LEED rating systems, building design and construction, BD plus C, interior design and construction, ID plus C, operations and maintenance, O and M, neighborhood development, ND, and homes. Which one should you pursue? The most popular LEED AP specialty is LEED AP BD plus C. This credential applies to any professional who participates in design and construction of commercial, high-rise residential, healthcare, and educational green buildings.
Architects working on new building design, contractors, engineers, even law and insurance professionals may consider this credential. LEED AP ID plus C applies to those that participate in the design, construction and implement of commercial interiors. LEED AP O and M is suitable for professionals that take a role in operational aspects of existing buildings, facility management professionals and building portfolio owners may consider this credential.
LEED AP ND applies to individuals participating in the planning, design and development of neighborhoods and communities. Urban planners, city officials and sustainability consultants working with community scale development projects may find this credential relevant. LEED AP Homes is suitable for professionals that work in design and construction of single family homes, low and mid-rise residential projects. If you work on high-rise residential projects, LEED AP D plus C is likely more suitable for you.
What if your job falls in more than one specialty? For example, you get involved with new construction projects but you also have a role in operations of existing buildings? Then I recommend that you choose a specialty for your work that has the biggest influence in your career. If you spend most of your time in existing building operations, and a small portion in new construction activities, then consider choosing LEED AP O and M. However, if you have a career goal of making a shift into a new area, then you may want to pursue your credential based on your future outlook.
The last tier is Distinguished LEED Fellow Designation, a nomination-based award for distinguished green building professionals with at least 10 years of professional LEED and green building experience. And this covers the three tiers of LEED credentials. LEED Green Associate, LEED AP with Specialty, and LEED Fellow.