With both green building and green jobs emerging as growing trends here in the United States, and even around the world, we are likely to see an increase in demand for certified green building professionals. With the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system being the most popular green building certification system in the world, pursuing a LEED-related certification would be wise. If you're interested in obtaining a green building certificate, but you aren't ready to sit for the LEED accredited professional exam, then the LEED Green Associate program may be your best bet.

The LEED Green Associate certification is designed to provide interested individuals with a solid introduction to the principles of green building design, construction, and operations as well as the LEED green building rating system. It can be seen as the entry level LEED-related green building certification offered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

Although this is an entry-level certification, there are minimum requirements that must be met prior to sitting for the exam. Potential candidates must satisfy at least one of the following prerequisites:

  • Documented experience on a LEED registered or LEED certified project
  • Employment in a sustainable field of work
  • Completion of a green building education program
Several different training organizations provide the green building education program that is needed for individuals without LEED or sustainability-minded experience including an upcoming two-day webinar offered by Green Education Services (July 22-23, 2010). This allows you to prepare for the LEED Green Associate exam from your own home. The test is administered through certified testing centers across the country.

Although I am not directly involved in the green building industry, I cover it on a weekly basis. I am planning to complete the LEED Green Associate program in the fall. This green building credential is great for individuals who want to pursue a career in green building but it's also good for those of us on the fringe of the green building industry.