Investing Your Time: How to Get LEED Accredited

Last Updated:
Fri, 2018-04-20 09:40
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The reasons why sustainability practitioners earn LEED credentials vary depending on their professional goals. The most common goals include:

  • Qualifying for a project that requires LEED knowledge
  • Increasing marketability and getting a new job
  • Demonstrating expertise and getting a promotion or raise

Because of these goals, candidates will seek the fastest path to LEED Certification.

If you're just getting started with LEED, visit our New to LEED? Start Here! series.

And here’s a quick tip – LEED Certification refers to buildings. LEED Accreditation refers to people. One way to instantly reveal your knowledge of LEED is by using the correct terminology! This is something we grapple with daily, even though it’s been 16 years since the LEED Rating System debuted.

blue buildings

It’s common for newcomers to think they want LEED Certification, so sometimes we have to use that language to get on the same level, but the reality is, you want to get LEED Accredited. Let’s keep it simple for now and just talk about the process for earning a LEED credential.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a LEED Credential?

The goals listed above influence how quickly a candidate will want to get through the LEED process.

This is a tough question to answer because the time it takes to learn about LEED is dependent on a candidate’s:

  • learning style
  • comfort with test-taking
  • work/life schedule
  • time commitment

I suppose we should be asking two better questions:

1 – Is there a required process to prepare for the LEED exam?  No

2 – If so, how long is that process?  Candidates have the option to choose how they want to study the LEED concepts. Once again, this is somewhat dependent on a candidate’s learning style, time commitment, and budget.

LEED Exam Prep:  The Fastest Way to Study LEED

This is why Everblue’s LEED Exam Prep program exists. We’ve taken all the most important concepts from the USGBC LEED Core Concepts Guide as well as candidate feedback to develop a concentrated LEED prep course.

With LEED Exam Prep, candidates can focus on studying only what they need to, instead of wasting time poring through a dense book of information.

All of our exam prep packages include study materials, so after candidates complete the foundational training, we recommend 20-30 hours of self-study time to review concepts and utilize the study aids provided.

Earning a LEED Credential:  Timing from Start to Finish

The time it takes Candidate A to prepare for the LEED Green Associate Exam will be different from the time it takes Candidate B, but provided that candidates use Everblue’s LEED training program, here is an expected time frame for studying.

Participants of 2-day classes

  • Learning – 16 hours
  • Studying – 30 hours
  • Exam – 2 hours
  • Estimated Total – 48 hours

Participants of 4-part live webinars

  • Learning – 16 hours
  • Studying – 30 hours
  • Exam – 2 hours
  • Estimated Total – 48 hours

Participants of self-paced online webinars

  • Learning – 16 hours
  • Studying – 30 hours
  • Exam – 2 hours
  • Estimated Total – 48 hours

Of course these are just estimates, based on the average learning time of our participants. Some candidates will pick up on the material quicker, while others will want to spend more time reviewing concepts.

Earning a LEED credential is a personal journey. Candidates must choose the path that's right for them.

For more information about Everblue's LEED training or to compare formats, please visit our LEED Green Associate Exam Prep page.