"I am currently working in the solar panel industry. I would like to go get my LEED (AP) but I am not certain that it is useful without either construction experience/degree or if it is beneficial on its own. How would the certification benefit me in securing employment? I currently have a degree in technology, and I am employed as a production manager in a solar panel company."
LEED AP Answer
Thank you for your question. This question about why to get a LEED AP designation applies to a large group of people. The simple answer is recognition both domestically and internationally. Domestic: Lately every large scale domestic projects are shooting for some sort of LEED designation. You can easily type in LEED in Google News and come up with a list of new projects announcing their pursuit of a LEED designation. All projects ranging from commercial plants, hospitals, schools and government buildings are now requiring LEED. With a growing market share of projects being registered LEED you will find doors open in every aspect of business from product sales and manufacturing (like yours) to jobs in managing construction projects both physically and in the documentation positions.
The jobs I see now tend to require a LEED AP designation because they will ultimately involve you talking to clients and partners that will respect your word since you have a LEED AP attached to your name. International: By obtaining a LEED AP designation you obtain international credibility in complete sustainable projects. LEED is the worldwide leader in green design and construction and is recognized as the international building certification for sustainability.
LEED project statistics of December 2009 International LEED statistics:
1. Arab Emirate - 656 registered projects
2. China - 261 registered projects
3. Canada - 228 registered projects
4. Brazil - 134 registered projects
5. Mexico - 111 registered projects
6. Germany - 99 registered projects
7. South Korea -; 93 registered projects
8. India - 76 registered projects
9. Saudi Arabia - 65 registered projects
10. Italy - 64 registered projects
The job market for a LEED AP is huge both internationally and domestically. Every type of job involving the interaction with LEED project both directly and indirectly seems to require a LEED AP designation because of your possible interaction with a client or business partner. Getting a LEED AP designation will also allow you to change your type of position either within your existing company or in one of the many green careers that are seeing growth in this market.
Our LEED experience program is for people like you that have not specifically worked on a LEED project before but would like to obtain a LEED AP. Because of your work in a SOLAR related industry you already qualify for the LEED Green Associate designation, but I would strongly advise you in getting your LEED AP because of the recognition and because of how your participation in a project would provide it with extra points towards its goal of becoming a LEED building.