LEED Certification

Overview of LEED Certification Levels

Here’s your quick and dirty guide to the LEED certification levels.

Overview of LEED Certification Levels

First, you should know that LEED Certification is a label for buildings.

Additionally, LEED Accreditation is a label for people.

Which are you looking for?

(yes, there are levels to both pathways)

LEED Certification

LEED Accreditation

LEED Certification Levels

Buildings incorporate a variety of green techniques into the planning, construction, and operations phases.

Each of these strategies has a point value in the LEED world. The more points earned, the more sustainable the building is.

Depending on the number of points received, the project can then earn LEED Certification in one of these four levels:

LEED Certification levels

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How to Earn LEED Certification for a Building:

The LEED Rating System, as it’s called, is not one-size-fits-all.

You will have to understand the LEED Credits and choose which ones to pursue, as appropriate for your building, geography, budget, and timeframe.

For a better understanding of the LEED credits, you should take the LEED Green Associate Exam Prep to manage the process yourself or hire a LEED/Sustainability Consultant to do it for you.

LEED Accreditation Levels

The LEED credentialing process has three levels of individual accreditation.

1. LEED Green Associate – the required first step for ALL candidates

2. LEED AP with Specialty – for those who work regularly on LEED projects in a leadership role and therefore need to specialize in a certain track. There are 5 LEED AP Specialty tracks available:

Building Design + Construction (BD+C) – new construction & major renovations

Operations + Maintenance (O+M) – existing buildings

Interior Design + Construction (ID+C)

Neighborhood Development (ND)


3. LEED Fellow – an honorary title for LEED APs who have demonstrated exceptional achievement and technical knowledge

LEED Accreditation levels

To Become a LEED Green Associate:

  • Take Everblue’s LEED Green Associate Exam Prep
  • Buy the LEED Green Associate exam from U.S. Green Building Council
  • Schedule your 2-hour LEED Green Associate exam through Prometric
  • Pass with a score of 170 out of 200

To Become a LEED AP Specialty:

  • Complete the steps above for LEED Green Associate
  • Choose a LEED specialty to focus on
  • Complete the steps above, but for your desired LEED AP Specialty

To Become a LEED Fellow:

  • You must be a LEED AP Specialty with 10+ years of experience
  • You must be nominated by a LEED AP Specialty who also has 10+ years of professional LEED experience

About Lesley Cowie

Lesley has contributed to Everblue's marketing team for over 10 years. She has experience writing blogs about LEED certification, home energy auditor certifications, blower door testing requirements, solar energy, and NABCEP Certification.