LEED Certification FAQ

Navigate the brief menu below to find the answers to your questions.

LEED Basics
You've heard about LEED, but you really don't know what it is.

Course Recommendations
You want to know which LEED credentials will help you achieve your goals.

Course Locations
You want to know if classes and exams are available near you.

Before & After Class
You want information on pre-course study materials.

Qualifying, Registering, and Passing the LEED Exam
You want to know what you need to do to become eligible to take the exam.

Continuing Education & Credential Maintenance
You want to know the best way to meet continuing education requirements.

For all your other LEED-related questions.

We wish you the best of luck in your career! If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to call us at 800-460-2575.


LEED Basics

Q: What is LEED?

A: LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED enables building owners and operators to identify and implement green building design, construction, maintenance solutions, and operations. The non-profit, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developed the LEED standard.

Q: How does LEED Certification work?

A: The LEED rating system, created by the USGBC, provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at increasing performance, reducing waste, and improving quality of life.

Each strategy listed on the rating system checklist is catalogued as a credit. Credits are grouped into six major categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design & Regionalization. All the credits in these categories are worth a certain number of points. For every strategy utilized in a LEED-registered project, the building acquires the corresponding number of points for that credit. The greater number of points, the more likely the building will qualify for LEED Certification. There are different levels of LEED Certification, based on this point range.

LEED 2009 rating system has a total of 110 points available. Projects that achieve 40 points are LEED Certified, 50 points earns LEED Silver, 60 points earns LEED Gold, and 80 points earns LEED Platinum certification.

Q: If all buildings are trying to achieve LEED Certification, why are there multiple rating systems?

A: There are several LEED rating systems available for different types of buildings. For instance, there are different requirements if you want to build a home versus an office building. Likewise, there are LEED rating systems for commercial, institutional, residential, and just about every other type of building that you can think of. The LEED AP with Specialty credentials are aligned with these rating systems, so you can market yourself as an accredited professional in a specialty area.

Q: What's the difference between LEED Certification and LEED Accreditation?

A: Buildings earn LEED Certification. Individuals who pass one of the LEED credentialing exams become LEED Accredited. One of the most common mistakes made by newcomers to LEED is when they say, "I want to become LEED Certfied." They really should say, "I want to become LEED Accredited."


Course Recommendations

Q: What is the best way to begin my LEED studies?

A: Everblue's LEED Green Associate exam prep course is the best place to start. There is no prerequisite, and everything you need is included. The LEED Green Associate training course prepares and qualifies you for the LEED Green Associate exam. We provide students with pre-course reading material to review online before the class. In the class, we provide a course book and study sheets. After the class, we give you access to Everblue's practice exam questions and provide you with instructions for registering to take the exam. LEED Green Associate accreditation is a required first step before going on to earn a LEED AP with Specialty accreditation.

Q: How will LEED Accreditation help to further my career?

A: There are several career paths to which LEED knowledge can be applied. Typically, someone already in the construction industry (such as an architect, contractor, or interior designer) will use LEED to enhance their knowledge and offer their customers more services. Many LEED courses count as continuing education credits for other professions, so the courses do “double duty” in terms of maintaining current credentials while earning a new one. For those new to the industry, LEED Accreditation will allow you to work on LEED certified projects.


Course Locations

Q: Is there a course being offered near me?

A: Because LEED is an internationally recognized standard for green building, Everblue offers LEED exam prep training at various locations around the world. To find a live class near you, navigate to the right sidebar of this page where you see the map of the U.S. and use your country, city, or zip code to search class locations. If a live class is not scheduled at a location convenient for you, we also offer online webinars, in a live or on-demand format.

Q: Is there a testing location near me?

A: Testing locations are available internationally through Prometric Testing Centers. As part of our LEED Green Associate exam prep courses, we provide you with detailed instructions on how to register for the exam as well as how to find the nearest testing center. To find a testing center near you, visit the Prometric website at: www.prometric.com/gbci


Before & After Class

Q: Is there any financial assistance available for Everblue’s LEED training courses?

A: Yes. For more information, please visit the Scholarship Funding & Free Training page to search for grant and scholarship funding in your area. If you are unemployed, you may qualify for government funding through your local workforce center and the Workforce Investment Act. For specific questions, please call us at 800-460-2575.

Q: When will I receive study materials?

A: For live classes, materials are provided on the first day of class. After the class, you will have access to online practice questions for 90 days. For live webinars, course materials are mailed 2-4 business days after your course registration. With on-demand courses, materials are available in your online Everblue course portal.

Q: Can I get materials early for the live class to begin studying?

A: To avoid the extra costs of printing and shipping, we will not send materials early to a student attending a live classroom training. There are a number of online resources available on Everblue's student portal. If you choose to begin studying before the class begins, we recommend that you browse the course portal and utilize these resource available.

Q: Does Everblue provide job placement after completion of all required courses?

A: No. We do not provide job placement, but we frequently refer students to job openings from our partners and customers. We have many great hiring success stories. To see a listing of open job positions, please visit our Job Board


Qualifying, Registering, and Passing the LEED Exam

Q: What are the qualifications to sit for the LEED Green Associate exam?

A: According to the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), which administers the exam, a person applying to take the Green Associate exam must meet any one of the following requirements:

  • involvement in support of a LEED-registered project
  • authorship of a credited contribution to a print or digital publication
  • volunteering with USGBC, GBCI, or a LEED-related nonprofit organization
  • OR engagement in an education program that addresses green building principles (Everblue's classes meet this requirement!)

Q: What are the qualifications to sit for a LEED AP exam?

A: You must have documented professional experience on a LEED-registered project, occurring within the last three years, with verification through LEED Online or employer attestation.

Q: How do I satisfy project experience requirements for the LEED AP exams?

A: You can obtain a letter of attestation from a project manager on a LEED project. If you do not have project experience, you can enroll in Everblue's LEED Project Experience course. Upon completion of this course, you will receive a letter of attestation to submit to GBCI for project experience, allowing you to qualify to sit for any LEED AP exam.

Q: How soon after completing Everblue's class do I need to take the exam?

A: We recommend for students to schedule their LEED exams 2-3 weeks following their training course. This gives students enough time to fully prepare, without losing any relevant information. Having the test date scheduled well in advance gives students a real deadline to work toward.

Q: Where can I take the exam? When is the exam scheduled?

A: There are two steps to scheduling your exam appointment. The first step is that you must submit an application to the USGBC, demonstrating that you meet the requirements to sit for either a LEED Green Associate or LEED AP exam. Once the USGBC has approved your application, you must visit www.prometric.com/gbci and schedule an exam appointment.

LEED exams are scheduled by appointment at Prometric Testing Centers and are computer-based tests. That means you can schedule an exam at a local testing center (there are over 400 nationwide and at least one in every major city) for a time that is convenient to you. Testing centers are typically open six days a week. Since all LEED exams are computer-based, you will find out your results before you leave the testing center.

As part of the LEED Green Associate training course, your instructor will cover all aspects of the exam process. At the end of the course, you will be provided with detailed instructions on registering for the exam.

Q: What are the costs associated with earning the LEED Green Associate credential?

A: There are three fees for Green Associate candidates:

  • $50 Application Fee
  • $200 Exam Fee ($150 for USGBC National Members and full-time students)
  • $50 Credential Maintenance Fee every 2 years

Q: What are the costs associated with earning the LEED AP credential?

A: There are three fees for LEED AP candidates:

  • $100 Application Fee
  • $450 Exam Fee ($300 for USGBC National Members and full-time students)*
  • $50 Credential Maintenance Fee every 2 years

*If you have already passed the Green Associate exam, the LEED AP exam fee is $250 ($150 for USGBC National Members and full-time students).

Q: What do I need to pass the LEED Green Associate or LEED AP Exam?

A: Each LEED exam has a total of 100 questions and is scored on a scale of 125 to 200 points. So if you got zero questions correct, you would still score 125 on the exam. Likewise, if you got all 100 questions correct, you would score a 200. A score of 170 is required to pass any of the exams. The score of 170 is a scaled score, and the number of questions necessary to earn that passing score is going to be different from one test to the next.

To become a LEED Green Associate, you must pass the 2-hour, 100-question LEED Green Associate exam.

To become a LEED Accredited Professional, you must pass any one of the five available LEED AP with Specialty exams. The LEED AP exam is 2 hours long and contains 100 questions.


Continuing Education & Credential Maintenance

Q: Once I pass the LEED Exam, what are my requirements?

  • Abide by the GBCI disciplinary policy
  • Pay a $50 biennial maintenance fee
  • Attend continuing education classes. Green Associates must attend 15 hours of continuing education every two years, and LEED APs must attend 30 hours of continuing education every two years. Everblue's LEED CMP packages provide you with all the continuing education hours you need in one easy and convenient package.

Q: I am trying to complete my continuing education requirements for LEED AP before the renewal deadline. How long will it take for me to complete the LEED AP CMP course?

A: Allow 30 hours to cover the material and 10 hours to complete quizzes.

Q: How many LEED-specific requirements are included in the CMP classes?

A: The 15-hour LEED Green Associate CMP course includes the required three LEED-specific hours. The LEED AP CMP course includes the required six LEED-specific hours.



Q: How can LEED Accreditation help increase market share for a "green" product?

A: Attaining LEED Accreditation will help you understand the certification process for a LEED project and help you communicate to your customers how your product can help a building earn credits toward certification. Points can be earned from products that contribute to energy efficiency, waste reduction, prevent pollution, etc. Knowing such LEED guidelines can give you greater access to the green building market.

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