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Becoming a LEED AP

LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) are renowned sustainability experts who are able to contribute to the rating of buildings with the various LEED systems and mentor all the other team members. By obtaining your LEED Accredited Professional designation, you are not only making a wise career investment, you are taking an essential step to remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry and positioning yourself for the high demand green job market.

LEED AP: The Most accepted and recognizable Green Building Credential in the World

There are more than 141,000 LEED AP's as of Jan 2010, with more being certified every day at an unparalleled rate. While LEED AP’s have always been a illustrious credential, many employers now want LEED AP accreditation for new hires and are requiring only LEED AP accreditation as part of their staff education goals. The demand for LEED APs has grown significantly as the federal government, states and cities and municipalities require LEED certification for all new government operated offices and facilities, and will remain in this continued growth path as the need for energy efficiency and to limit global warming continues.

The LEED Accredited Professional Credentialing Structure

The LEED Version 3 credential process features multiple tiers of accreditation that exhibit both level of proficiency and areas of interest and specialization.

The first step is the LEED Green Associate. This credential covers the core concept and sustainability plus a basic understanding of the USGBC, GBCI and how buildings are certified. This is also the Exam Part #1 of the LEED AP specialty exams and By itself, it is very beneficial for those seeking to show a general working knowledge of Leadership in Energy in Environmental Design and sustainable green building methods. For individuals who take and pass the LEED GA examination are allowed to use the LEED GA or LEED Green Associate designation and accredited logo on your stationary, professional resume and your advertising.

The second level is the LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty. You have the option of five separate exams that prove proficiency in the advanced knowledge of sustainable and green building methods in a specialty field such as Building Design & Construction, Interior Design & Construction, Green Building Operation & Maintenance, Homes or Neighborhood Development. You are only required to pass one of the specialty exams (in addition to the LEED Green Associate exam) to make use of the LEED Accredited Professional or LEED AP acronym as part of your title on your stationary, professional resume and your advertising. Some people have pursued multiple LEED AP specialties to prove proficiency to perspective employer and customers.

LEED AP Fellows

LEED AP Fellows are considered experts in the field distinguished by their many years of green building and LEED experience. The exact requirements of this designation have not been identified at the date of this article.

Tier 1: LEED Green Associate

To obtain the LEED Green Associate (LEED GA), you must take and pass a 2-hour, 100 question multiple choice exam which will test your understanding of green building and core concepts.

LEED Green Associate Exam Eligibility
To submit an application for the LEED Green Associate exam, you must meet or exceed at least one of the following prerequisites

  • Attendance of an green education program that addresses sustainable building principles, OR
  • Documented involvement on a LEED-registered project

The PTL Green Associate class qualifies you to sit for the LEED Green Associate exam. After your class, you will be provided with an electronic certificate of completion that you can submit with your application.

Tier II: LEED AP with Specialty

To acquire the LEED AP with Specialty credential, you must pass a 2-hour, 100 question multiple choice exam which will test your understanding of the LEED AP specialty you have choosen to pursue. The LEED AP with Specialty credential is for individuals wanting to demonstrate an deep knowledge of green construction practices; it also will exhibit the ability to specialize in a individual LEED Rating System.


The LEED Green Associate and LEED AP exams can be taken at the same time or may also be taken in separate appointments. You do not need to have already passed the LEED Green Associate exam to submit an application for the LEED Accredited Professional exam. However, you must either be a legacy LEED AP or have the LEED GA credential to acquire the LEED AP accreditation.

LEED AP Eligibility

To take the LEED AP exams, you must have prior experience with a LEED Certification Projects within the last three years of your application submittal date. This documented work experience must be in the form of a letter of attestation from a supervisor, client, or project manager and must describe your involvement on the LEED Project as a consultant, contracted worker, member of the LEED Project Team, LEED Homes Provider, LEED Commercial Reviewer, LEED Homes Green Verifier, or staff member of a Certifying Body (CB).

The PTL LEED Project Management Experience class will meet this prerequisite and qualify you to take the LEED AP exam.

If you have questions or would like more information please contact the PTL office at 1-(800)-267-8399.