Getting a Certification is a great way to STAND OUT while expanding your knowledge and network.
This list is geared toward entry-level or easy to get certification that will bolster your resume.
AEP : Associate Environmental Professional
AEP - Associate Environmental Professional certification is an entry-level program aimed at those professionals beginning their careers, as well as, those professionals who may not possess a college degree.
Education: One (1) year in a bachelor's degree program, such as environmental engineering, health/science, environmental management or hazardous materials management. Three (3) years of acceptable work experience may be substituted for each year of an academic degree program.
Work Experience: None
Exam: Required
Certification Type: Project Management/Coordination Programs
Other certifications available at https://www.nrep.org/certifications

CEP-IT : Certified Environmental Professional – In Training  (ABCEP)
ELIGIBILITY: The Applicant must possess a Bachelor's Degree and from one - five years of applicable professional environmental experience (Volunteer work may be considered). If accepted as a CEP-IT and the professional maintains the certification for a minimum of three years; acquires at least 5 years in a position of responsible charge and/or supervision the professional would be eligible to apply for their CEP.  Degrees claimed must be from a fully accredited college or university (certified transcripts are required).
As soon as a CEP-IT's application is deemed complete, the Executive Administrator will notify the chair of the Mentor Committee who will assign a CEP mentor to that individual. The mentoring program provides candidates for the CEP-IT know they have support and a point of contact during their application process. The mentor's role is to be there for these individuals and to answer questions so that they do not lose interest in pursuing the CEP-IT. The CEP-IT may contact the mentor as needed to discuss progress, to solicit feedback regarding the CEP-ITs career, and to obtain suggested opportunities for growth.
  • Electronic newsletter.
  • Access to CEP website.
  • Access to CEP Board meetings.
  • Notices of CEP member meetings.
  • Notification to existing and potential employers that the CEP-IT is recognized by the environmental profession.
  • Better understanding of the environmental profession.
  • Contacts that will reduce effort needed to become a CEP.
  • Enhanced personal qualifications on proposals submitted to clients.
  • Enhanced opportunities to participate on ABCEP committees and at ABCEP events.
  • Authorization by ABCEP to put CEP-IT on business cards, resumes, and signature title.
  • Increased salary for organizations that reward staff with professional certifications.
  • Increased potential for career advancement.

They also have a “student” certification for those who do not qualify for the CEP-IT.  


EPI : Environmental Professional In-Training

The Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) program is an entry-level certification for environmental students and environmental professionals who are just beginning their careers and is an optional first step towards obtaining QEP status. The EPI credential is an opportunity for students who anticipate entering the environmental field, or for graduates who have entered the field within the last five years, to demonstrate personal knowledge of general environmental science.

The EPI credential signifies to potential employers and others that an individual has demonstrated a comprehensive ability to apply their technical education.

The EPI certification is valid for a period of seven years. This period allows for the opportunity to obtain the five years of environmental work experience and ample time to complete the requirements for full QEP status. After seven years, EPI status expires and is not renewable.
EPI Mentoring Program

The EPI mentoring program matches interested EPIs with Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs) in a related field, geographic area and/or interest. The program offers the availability of a QEP mentor for up to a seven year period to provide the EPI with professional guidance and introduction into a network of senior, well-respected environmental professionals. EPI_Mentoring_Guidelines
Requirements for the EPI

The EPI is available to college or university seniors who are working towards a technical baccalaureate or masters degree in physical, earth or natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics; or individuals who have received a baccalaureate/masters degree in one of the above mentioned disciplines and have just entered, are anticipating entering, or have less than five years of qualifying environmental work experience.


AWB : Associate Wildlife Biologist (The Wildlife Society)

An individual who has completed rigorous academic standards and is judged able to represent the profession as an ethical practitioner will be designated as an Associate Wildlife Biologist®. The AWB® certification is granted for 10 years and cannot be renewed. An AWB® certified individual can upgrade to Certified Wildlife Biologist® during the 10 year time period once the necessary experience requirements are obtained.
This application is for individuals who have met the education requirements but have not yet obtained at least 5 years of professional-level wildlife experience in the previous 10 years.


Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator

Wildlife rehabilitator certification is exam-based. The only requirement to become a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR) is to take and pass the CWR exam.

The Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator program is available to all that apply--there are no eligibility requirements.

Although IWRC will act as the certification body, CWR applicants are not required to be a member of IWRC or any other organization, nor is there a requirement to take classes or purchase publications from any organization, permitting agency, community college, or university.  The only requirement to become certified is to take and pass the CWR exam.

To encourage the highest level of knowledge, skill and competence, certification renewal is required every two years. Renewal is based on the accrual of continuing education units (CEU's). CEU's are available from a wide variety of sources.


Ecologist in Training (Ecological Society of America)
Bachelor’s degree or higher degree in ecology or a related science from an accredited college or university.
This category is for graduating students who have met the education requirements for ESA certification but do not have the required professional experience for the current certification categories.

Associate Ecologist
A bachelor’s or higher degree in ecology or a related science from an accredited college or university;
At least one (1) year of post-graduate professional experience gained in the performance of research or data analysis demonstrating technical competence in current application of ecological principles and/or theory. Relevant experience should have been gained within the previous five (5) years.
Course requirements may be met with post-baccalaureate courses from an accredited college or university, but professional experience may not be counted until all academic requirements for certification are met.

EIT or Engineer in Training AKA EI or Engineer Intern
"The Engineer in Training (EIT) certification is the designation gained by an individual after passing the Engineer in Training exam, also known as the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, administered by the NCEES twice a year at specified locations throughout each State. Engineer Intern (EI) is also a term synonymous to Engineer in Training (EIT) certification. The Engineer in Training (EIT) exam and certification is the first step in acquiring your Professional Engineer (PE) License."
When you become certified as an Engineer in Training (EIT), or Engineering Intern (EI), you have successfully hurdled the first obstacle in acquiring your Professional Engineer (PE) License. Along with being able to put the initials EIT after your name, which is pretty cool, passing the exam shows an unparalleled dedication to your career and education and is seen in a positive light by potential employers. You will also garner opportunities to work under Registered Professional Engineers, gaining valuable real life high quality experience that you will be able to apply in your everyday tasks.

Certified Environmental Specialist

The Certified Environmental Specialist course has been established to give an intensive overview on EPA regulations to professionals who are working within the safety and environmental fields. Working on projects that can pose a potential danger to the public or environment—environmental compliance knowledge and implementation is a must in the workplace. This course covers the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or “Superfund”) and environmental compliance planning and expectations.

There are no pre-requisite requirements for this course.


Candidate Certified Forester (CCF®)

Inspires graduates and those returning to the profession to consider becoming a CF and be aware of the values of the CF program to them and to society.
Education: An earned degree at the baccalaureate or master's level from a SAF-accredited degree program.
An earned degree at the baccalaureate, masters or doctorate level in forestry or related natural resources. Examples of "related natural resources" include, but are not limited to, environmental studies, wildlife management, range management, or ecology. The earned degree(s) must have a total of 56 semester credit hours with 51 semester credits as specified in the forestry-related coursework areas a-d  and an additional 5 credit hours in any of the forestry-related coursework areas.

Experience: Applicants must have less than five years of qualifying professional forestry experience within the past 10 years in two of the four experience areas.


NWF EcoLeader National Wildlife Federation EcoLeaders 
The recognition of student and young professional sustainability and environmental efforts is at the heart of the NWF EcoLeaders Online Community. Students and Young Professionals have long been the catalysts for change on their campuses and in their communities and the NWF EcoLeaders Program seeks to bring national attention to and honor the important work emerging leaders are doing. The fee for EcoLeader certification is $30.00 and includes access to the Career Planning tool and EcoCareer conference archives. 
This certification comes in two different types: Campus and Community for both in college students and recent grads.

ISSP: International Society of Sustainability Professionals
ISSP is the world’s leading professional association of sustainability practitioners. A member-driven organization, we move the sustainability profession forward by empowering each other and defining professional excellence. Regardless of your area of specialization, at ISSP you will find a key partner in driving change. 
Two successive credential levels are obtainable: the ISSP Sustainability Associate  (ISSP-SA) and the ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP).

LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. 
LEED Green Associate - A foundational professional credential signifying core competency in green building principles.

LEED AP with specialty - An advanced professional credential signifying expertise in green building and a LEED rating system. Learn more.

Institute for Sustainability
Provides multidisciplinary scientific and technical rigor to sustainability discussions.
Encourages the incorporation of sustainability concepts in engineering education.
Advances sustainability research and development.
Facilitates the development of measurement tools and frameworks to guide the design of more sustainable products and processes.
The AIChE Institute for Sustainability (IfS) program offers engineers and other qualified professionals a specialized Credential in Sustainability.
ACSP is for professionals, faculty and graduate students in engineering and related fields.

Learn more about Sustainable and Green Building Certifications in this article by Trish Kenlon.

Huge thanks to Aubrey Gann, NAEP Student President (past), for putting this list together!

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