Have you ever wondered if becoming a LEED Accredited Professional, or Green Associate, was really worth the effort? “Will it help me get a job?,” you wonder.
According to a press release from the US Green Building Council, the demand for LEED accredited applicants in the North American job market has actually increased – by 46% in the last year, alone! “This figure tells a powerful story about the value that building-industry employers assign to knowledgeable, LEED-credentialed professionals,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “LEED is a transformative force within the building sector, and every day, our network of more than 197,000 LEED APs and Green Associates are helping to advance the industry and push building projects to new heights of performance and resource efficiency.”
The study, conducted by USGBC education partner Pearson, using data provided by Burning Glass, found a total of 9,033 U.S. job postings from March 2013 to February 2014 that required a LEED credential. Top fields being advertised included available positions in mechanical, electrical and civil engineering; construction management; architecture; software development; sales management; property management; and interior design, among others.
A secondary 90-day study conducted by Pearson, using data provided by Burning Glass, from January 2014 to March 2014 of 2,354 U.S. green-building related positions also found LEED as the skill in highest demand by a wide margin. LEED appeared in 59 percent of all postings, compared to the second-most-required skill, which appeared in 17 percent of the postings.
The LEED AP (Accredited Professional) credential affirms advanced knowledge in specialized areas of green building, expertise in a particular LEED rating system and competency in the certification process. It is suited for practitioners actively working on LEED projects to showcase their deep technical knowledge of LEED in both principle and practice while the “LEED Green Associate” accreditation means that an applicant has demonstrated a solid, current understanding of green building principles and practices. The Green Associate level is ideal for both professionals newer to the sustainability field or looking to gain experience and exposure to LEED, as well as those working in diverse roles such as product manufacturers, students, real estate professionals, contractors and more.
This upswing in hiring and job market demand is encouraging news for future and current LEED practitioners, and for the future of green building. It means that LEED and green building techniques are being used in more projects, and more people are learning the benefits of these techniques.