Finding the right LEED consultant for your project can seem overwhelming. We have teamed up with the best LEED certification consulting firms to make your job easier. Our selection process starts with the success of the service provider. We partnered with the firms that have produced the most certified buildings in the market. These consulting firms have successfully completed projects both domestically and internationally and have an emphasis on customer service.
Complete a LEED Certification
Types of Services
A quality LEED consulting firm will offer many services to help you on your path of certification. One of the main processes of the certification system is the scorecard. The scorecard is your guide to the building you are working on. It details all the credits that you are attempting and the overall score you will receive for completing the credits. Depending upon your credit pursuit, your project manager may require some additional services. These services include:
- Feasibility Studies
- Renewable Energy Analysis
- Energy Modeling
- Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tests
- Energy, Water, and Waste Audits
- Building Commissioning (Cx and RCx)
Salary of a Consultant
LEED consulting firms pay generously for quality engineers and project managers. In this section, we analyze the starting salary of a project manager. First time candidates that are joining consulting firms will work closely with a Project Manager. Their support position will give them the experience needed to later obtain that job. Because a Project Manager is a vital part of the certification process, they are paid generously.
$82k-130k per year (Salary.com)
Project Managers make an average of $35-$85 an hour depending upon experience. As an owner, you will have to work with a bid style system when purchasing consulting services from a firm. They typically run a cost basis per square foot when bidding on services. This bid style system will ensure you receive an accurate cost without overpaying.
LEED Consultant Education
A good LEED consultant will have at least a 4-year degree from a major university. They will have the required experience necessary to lead a team down the certification path. Consultants can further their professional career by gaining any of the credentials by passing one or more of the 100 question exams.
The first exam, the Green Associate exam, is the entry-level exam that tests your basic understanding of the rating system. A Green Associate’s job is to support other Project Managers certification process. A Green Associate credential is a beneficial credential because it shows your commitment to understanding the sustainable building process.
After completing your Green Associate exam, you will be able to schedule your Accredited Professional credential. The AP is a second-tier credential and your gateway into a career focusing on sustainable design. Like the Green Associate exam, the AP is also a 100-question test given out over a 2-hour testing period. The Accredited Professional credential is desired by LEED consulting firms because of the automatic point associated with having an AP work on a building.
Project Experience Program
A LEED consultant can further their career with actual project experience. In this experience program, you will be guided by industry leaders that have been completing successful projects for the last 20 years. You will be assigned as a Project Manager on a real-life building. As a Project Manager, you will learn what different services are required to complete a building from start to finish. This type of experience program will provide you with real-life project experience work and will educate you on additional types and LEED consulting services you can offer.
Researching LEED Consultants
One of the easiest things you can do to ensure your chosen LEED consulting firm is current with the rating system is to check the USGBC business directory. The business directory is organized into four categories based on business category and annual revenue:
Members paying $20,000 or more.
Members paying $5,000 or more.
Members paying $1,500 or more.
The starting rate of $450 annually for basic membership and benefits.
Cost for your business being listed in the USGBC directory ranges from $450 a year at an Organizational Level to $20,000 for Platinum Level business registration. Benefits of the organizational directory include reduced prices on all USGBC products and programs. You also can receive discounts on project registrations based on volume. The more projects your LEED consulting firm has, the better discount the USGBC is willing to give.
Other memberships your consulting firm can obtain include but are not limited to: Energy Star Elite Member, BOMA International, and the Associated General Contractors of America. Each of these organizations has a membership section that you can list the LEED certification consulting services you offer. They also each have networking programs for you to meet other like-minded individuals.