What Six Sigma Certification Level Do I Need?

Determining what Lean Six Sigma certification level you need is not as hard as you may think.

Once you understand the differences, you can easily figure out what Lean Six Sigma Level to pursue.

Six Sigma White Belts

Six Sigma White Belts have been overview trained. Training usually lasts just a few hours. Six Sigma White Belts understand basic vocabulary and fundamental concepts of the methodology. It’s an overview training level, suitable for everyone within a company practicing Six Sigma.

Six Sigma Yellow Belts

Six Sigma Yellow Belts have been trained to be a part of a Six Sigma team. Training usually lasts a couple of days. Six Sigma Yellow Belts understand more than White Belts and less than Green Belts. This training is sufficient to allow Yellow Belts to be functioning and productive members of a Six Sigma project led by a Green Belt or Black Belt. The education in this course is usually not sufficient to empower a Yellow Belt to lead a Six Sigma project on their own.

Six Sigma Green Belts

Six Sigma Green Belts are trained to solve many process problems through approximately 10 days of training. Usually they are process leaders or work within processes, such as employees within the accounting group or on a manufacturing line.

Their role is to implement Lean Six Sigma projects within their department and as part of their job; as such, they “do” Six Sigma and improve processes they are a part of on a part-time basis.

For example, if a Green Belt works in the human resources group supporting the Information Technology (IT) team, they may run a project to decrease employee turnover in the IT team — but this is only part of their daily role and responsibilities as a human resource professional.

As part of their Green Belt role, they lead fellow team members through the project framework and toolset, evaluate solutions and reduce defects in the process. Normally, they will have the support of a Black Belt to whom they are assigned for coaching and mentoring.

A typical Six Sigma Green Belt project may deliver anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 of financial benefit to the organization.

If you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, adding a Green Belt certification to your resume can likely increase your marketability…especially if you have completed a project and can show your added training can lead to additional success in you new position.

Six Sigma Black Belts

Six Sigma Black Belts are trained to solve many process problems through approximately 20 days of training. With this much training, they are considered highly trained in the complete set of Lean and Six Sigma methods and tools.

As compared to Green Belts, Black Belts implement improvement projects that are much more complex and strategically-important to the business, oftentimes cross-functional or requiring significant data or leadership skills to accomplish. They also work on the project(s) full time.

In addition to executing Six Sigma projects, they regularly coach/mentor Green Belts who are assigned to them. A Six Sigma Black Belt may coach anywhere from two to 10 Green Belts at a time.

A typical Six Sigma Black Belt project may deliver anywhere from $50,000 to $350,000 of financial benefit to the organization.

If you’re a quick climber on the corporate ladder, Black Belt certification is what you need. And you need to have delivered one or more projects with significant financial benefit for your organization. Many companies look at Black Belt certification as a prerequisite for managers because they’re able to see processes (and how to improve them) and defects (and how to eliminate them).

Six Sigma Master Black Belts

Six Sigma Master Black Belts are the most comprehensively trained and are the most skilled practitioners of Lean and Six Sigma. They are often experts in leadership, facilitation, root cause analysis, and strategic management, in addition to being trained in Design for Six Sigma methodology.

They should be the pinacle of change management, able to lead any group or project to successful completion. They often set strategic direction for an organization, remove roadblocks facing Black Belts or Green Belts assigned to them, and deliver or oversee training of employees in their organization.

A Six Sigma Master Black Belt may coach anywhere from two to 10 Black Belts at a time.

If you’re looking to make a career out of quality and Lean Six Sigma, this is likely the training and certification you need.

How Do You Get Lean Six Sigma Certified?

Lean Six Sigma training and certification can be confusing. That’s why we’re offering an opportunity to be contacted by a SixSigma.com-trusted partner.

Fill out the contact form to the right, selecting your desired Lean Six Sigma level (Green Belt, Black Belt or Master Black Belt) and we’ll contact you as quickly as possible with a solution that best fits your needs.

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