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Interested in becoming a LEED Green Associate or LEED AP? What you need to know

Published on Written by Posted in LEED

You've made up your mind. You're ready to step up your game and become a LEED professional.  

Here's what you need to know about the application:

First things first: the eligibility requirements

  • LEED Green Associate: You must be 18 years old to take this exam, but beyond that there are no eligibility requirements. However, we do recommended that you have exposure to LEED and green building concepts through education, volunteering, or work experience.
  • LEED AP with specialty: You will not be required to document experience on a LEED-registered or certified project, but it will be assessed within the exam.

The application steps

  1. Log into your site user account, then navigate to Credentials.
  2. Select your exam of choice.
  3. Complete the exam registration process.
  4. Schedule exam date and location on

The cost

  • LEED Green Associate exam: USGBC/CaGBC members/full-time students: $200 (non-members: $250)
  • LEED AP specialty exam: USGBC/CaGBC members: $250 (non-members: $350)
  • Combined exam (LEED Green Associate and LEED AP with specialty): USGBC/CaGBC members: $400 (non-members: $550)

How long do I have?

Registration is valid for one year. In that year you are allotted three registrations per exam section. After this year expires, you must wait 90 days before registering again. You may also request an extension of the one year registration period for extenuating circumstances. 

Ready to do this?

Take the first step and apply

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    Nora Knox made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Nora Knox

Digital Marketing Manager U.S. Green Building Council
USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
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218 commentsLeave a comment

Director of Facilitiues, Mercer University
I have taken the combined exam but only passed the first part for LEED Green Associate. I have rescheduled the second part for LEED AP BD+C. Will I get a certificate for the first part before I take the second part?
., U.S. Green Building Council
Hi, Donald! No, you will not get a certified for the LEED Green Associate unless you want to become one. Please reach out to customer service if you are interested in only becoming a LEED Green Associate at this time:
Project Manager, JLL
My Leed GA certification has lapsed, what is the process to retake the test to become recertified?
., U.S. Green Building Council
Hi, Lucinda! If you completed continuing education within your lapsed reporting period, you can report those hours and then renew your credential. That will prevent you from having to retest. if you did not complete any of the requirements, please reach out to our customer service team ( with any information that might have prevented you from completing the requirements on time. Hope that helps!
Project Manager, Wm. Huber Cabinet Works Inc.
I was under the impression that in order to obtain LEED AP credentials, you first had to become LEED GA. Have the rules changed? I am interested in becoming LEED AP (ID+C). Is there a direct route without testing for the LEED GA?
Marketing Engineer, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi William, You have to pass the LEED GA Exam prior to becoming a LEED AP. I'd like to inform you LEED Green Associate (LEED GA) exam is the 1st tier in the LEED credentialing process, and is the stepping stone to earning your LEED AP with specialty. The GA exam is less detailed than the specialty exams, but can cover general green building concepts that span across all LEED rating systems. I'd like to recommend you that you should take up a LEED Green Associate Exam. After securing your LEED Green Associate credentials, you can go for any LEED AP specialization of your choice. As a USGBC Education Partner, GBRI offers LEED Exam Prep training. GBRI LEED Exam Prep comprises a study guide comes with more than 600+ practice questions, simulated mock exams, flash cards and everything you require to secure your LEED credentials. To access our splendid LEED Exam Prep, please visit: Use coupon code "BONUSGA" to get special discount on LEED GA Exam Prep.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in earning a LEED credential. You are correct that you must first obtain your LEED GA credential before you get your LEED AP specialty. There are two paths to earn the LEED AP with specialty credential. One option is to take the LEED AP combined exam on the same day. This is a two-part exam with Green Associate covered in the first part and the LEED AP with specialty portion covered in the second part. The second option it to take the LEED Green Associate on one day and then the LEED AP with specialty exam on another day. I would recommend taking the Green Associate exam first, which means taking the exams separately. However, here are some pros and cons that help inform your decision: Pros: 1. The combined exam offers a direct path to earning the LEED AP with specialty. 2. You may find it convenient to test on the same day. There is a normal delay in posting your exam results to registering for the next exam seating. 3. There is a price break to take the combined exam. Cons: 1. This could require more studying at one time. 2. You must pass both parts to earn the specialty. This is true, even if you pass the specialty exam (part 2) and fail the Green Associate exam (part 1). However, if you take the specialty exam and only pass part 1, you can become a Green Associate. You can learn more about the LEED Green Associate exam here: You can learn more about the specialty credentials in the respective candidate handbook here:
Hi..would like to check with u guys..actually I paid for LEED AP exam but haven't decided yet when to take the exam..can my colleague sit for the exam but using my other word can the exam transfer to others?
., U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in becoming a LEED credential holder! You may request a refund for your exam, and then your colleague may register and pay for the exam separately. Here is some information about requesting a refund: You should reach out to our customer service team directly. Thanks!
Marketing Manager, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Green Building Research Institute's Incredible Offer: LEED AP Exam Prep only at $ 129.00/- All Inclusive LEED v4 Exam Prep comprising LEED Green Associate and LEED AP study guides, LIVE / On-Demand Webinars, 600+ practice questions, flash cards, memory charts, MP3 audio files, supplementary reference materials and mock exams at an affordable price of $ 129.00/- Please use the coupon code "apaug" to avail this amazing discount! Kindly follow this link to grab the offer:
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