Nora Knox

We often get asked questions about our LEED credentials.

We want to make things as easy as possible, so here are some answers to our recent most frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Q. What is the difference between the LEED Green Associate and and the LEED AP with speciality?

A. USGBC offers two types green building professional credentials. The 1) LEED Green Associate and the 2) LEED AP with specialty.

  1. The LEED Green Associate demonstrates a solid understanding of green building principles and practices. It is ideal for professionals newer to sustainability and LEED, as well as product manufacturers, students, real estate professionals, and contractors. Prerequisites: none; Exam fee: $250 ($200 for USGBC members, $100 for students); Maintenance: 15 CE hours + $85 renewal fee every two years.
  2. The LEED AP with specialty affirms advanced knowledge in specialized areas of green building and LEED certification. It is suited for practitioners actively working on LEED projects to showcase their deep technical knowledge of LEED in both principle and practice. Prerequisites/Eligibility: Hold a current LEED Green Associate credential and be at least 18 years of age or older. LEED project experience strongly recommended; Exam fee: $350 ($250 for USGBC members); Maintenance: 30 CE hours + $85 renewal fee every two years.

Q. Does studying for the LEED AP exam mean that you have covered everything in the LEED Green Associate exam?

A. If you plan to take a LEED AP specialty exam, you must hold an current LEED Green Associate credential and be at least 18 years of age or older. When it comes to taking a LEED AP specialty exam you have three options. You can take 1) the standalone LEED Green Associate core exam, 2) the standalone LEED AP specialty exam if you already hold a current LEED Green Associate credential, or 3) the combined LEED Green Associate and LEED AP specialty exam.

If you do not already hold a LEED Green Associate credential before sitting for your LEED AP specialty exam, you will have to take the LEED Green Associate exam. You can do this the same day as your LEED AP specialty exam (option #3 above) or you can schedule your Green Associate and AP exams for different days (but remember the Green Associate exam must come first!).

If you already hold a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP with specialty, you only need to register for the standalone LEED AP specialty exam.

Q. Do I have to take the LEED Green Associate exam first in order to take the LEED AP exam?

A. You have two options for taking a LEED AP specialty exam: 1) you can take the combined LEED Green Associate and LEED AP specialty exam in one sitting, or 2) you can take the standalone LEED Green Associate exam in a first sitting and the standalone LEED AP specialty exam in a second sitting.

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