1. It is the most popular green building credential in the U.S.
From my research, I believe that LEED is the most popular green building credential in the U.S. and globally. According to USGBC’s data, as of June 1, the total number of LEED credentials held is 187,428. This number includes LEED APs without specialty.
Compared with about 210 Green Globes professionals, 6,500 certified EcoBrokers, about 34,000 BPI certified energy auditors, and about 6,400 NAHB Green certified professionals, USGBC’s LEED credentials are the most highly sought after.
Since LEED is the most popular green building credential, it is also the most well-known and recognized, which means that more potential employers will recognize it.
2. LEED is internationally recognized.
LEED is an international green building rating system and has been used in 140 different countries. Similarly, LEED credentialing exams are held in Prometric testing centers, which have international locations – so there are LEED professionals across the globe.
This means that by earning a LEED credential, you could open doors to international job opportunities in the green building sector. While many green building credentials and certification are region-specific, LEED is globally recognized.
3. LEED is growing.
As of September 2013, there are approximately 50,000 LEED certified projects globally, with approximately 90% in the U.S. This accounts for almost 2 billion square feet of certified commercial space. The USGBC claims that there are 1.6 million square feet certified per day around the world.
The number of registered projects (projects that are currently working toward LEED certification) are more than double the number of certified projects – meaning that LEED is growing at a fast pace. 34,185 commercial projects are registered (compared to 13,084 certified) and 78,246 residential homes are registered (compared to 19,913 certified). With this upward trend, LEED credentials are only becoming more valuable.
4. Studying for the LEED exams will teach you about general green building principles.
If you are new to green building and LEED, but are looking for a career change or to improve your career in the building industry, earning a LEED credential is a great way to start.
The LEED Green Associate credential is a good step toward becoming a green professional. The Green Associate exam tests you on general green building principles, such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality, and responsible materials and resources. By studying for this exam, you’ll become familiar with sustainable building strategies – and prove your new knowledge with a recognizable credential.
5. Joining local USGBC chapters is great for networking opportunities.
USGBC has local chapters across the United States. LEED professionals can join their local chapters and meet other LEED credentialed, green building professionals in their area. This is a great networking opportunity, which is especially helpful in a relatively new and growing industry and during a down economy.
6. Some green jobs specifically require LEED credentials.
When I recently searched “LEED” on SimplyHired.com, I found 4,008 job postings. In my personal experience, I’ve seen several jobs that require or prefer LEED credentialed professionals. By earning your credential, you might be able to secure new job opportunities.