Don’t fear - we’ve selected 5 of the fastest ways to earn your LEED continuing education hours. When done correctly, it could take you three days or less to fulfill all of your hours!
LEED Continuing Education Requirements
- LEED Green Associates: 15 total hours, with 3 LEED specific
- LEED AP with one specialty: 30 total hours, with 6 LEED specific (and specific to your specialty)
- LEED AP with more than one specialty: 24 general hours, plus 6 LEED specific per specialty
There are 4 ways to earn continuing education:
- LEED Project Experience
- Volunteer Work
The following “fastest options” all follow under education and authorship for a few reasons. First, volunteer work can only count toward 50% of your total hours, so it’s not one-stop shopping. The other three options can count as an unlimited number of your hours. Second, LEED project experience could take months to complete. The shortest possible way to earn your hours through LEED experience is to participate in the LEED Project Experience Program, but that will still take you four weeks.
1) Fast 15 CE Pack
If you’re down to the wire and starting from scratch, there is no faster, easier way to earn your hours all at once. LEED Green Associates can take advantage of the GreenStep Fast 15 CE Package and fulfill all 15 hours in 1/3 the time compared to online video.
2) Write Articles for Poplar Network (Free!)
Every article you write that is published on Poplar Network will count toward 3 hours of LEED continuing education. Articles that are about LEED can even be considered LEED-specific, making it possible to achieve all of your hours via authorship alone.
To be published on Poplar, the article must be about green building or LEED, be 100% original, and be at least 500 words.
Learn more here.
3) USGBC’s “Principles of LEED” Series (Free!)
USGBC’s free “Principles of LEED” program is a six module course designed to help legacy LEED APs add a specialty. The catch here is that if you are already a LEED Green Associate or LEED AP with specialty, you can take the free courses, and they will count as 6 LEED-specific continuing education hours.
While this series only contains 6 of the 15+ hours you will need as a LEED professional, it’s a great way to get all of your LEED specific hours for free. If you’re on a tight budget, combining this with authorship (above) might be your best bet.
Learn more about these free modules here.
4) Go to Greenbuild ($325 and up)
USGBC’s annual green building conference, Greenbuild, will be held on November 20th - 22nd this year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The three day conference will be jam-packed with over 100 continuing education opportunities. You can sign up for a full conference pass for $600-1,000 (depending on USGBC membership and time of registration) or buy a one day pass for $325-400.
This is a great way to get all of your hours in 3 days (or less) if you are diligent about attending the sessions. Last year, the expo even counted for continuing education - professionals just had to answer some questions afterward.
Learn more about continuing education at Greenbuild here.
5) USGBC Webinar Subscriptions ($172.50 and up)
USGBC offers a webinar subscription package for LEED professionals, USGBC member companies, and chapters. They are currently on sale for 50% off, so this is a great time to purchase.
The LEED Green Associate subscription gives you access to 15 hours of both recorded and live webinars, and the LEED AP packages give you access to 30 hours. All of the webinars are GBCI-approved, and many of them are LEED specific, so you can certainly earn all of your continuing education hours by purchasing this package.
If you are a member of a USGBC chapter or member company, the chapter or company can purchase packages and host viewings (saving you money).
Learn more about USGBC’s webinar subscriptions here.