When it comes to certifications, the world of business is flooded with options. From big names like Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to niche roles such as Quality Engineer, most professionals can find an appropriate certification for their career. Six Sigma stands out in this crowded space for its ability to help businesses increase their efficiency and reduce defects in their processes. But is the Six Sigma Certification worth it?
In this article, we’ll briefly introduce the Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma certification and discuss whether it’s worth it, how it benefits individuals and companies, and the different levels of the certification. Read on to learn more.
On this page:
- What is Six Sigma?
- What is Lean Six Sigma?
- What is a Six Sigma Certification?
- Is Six Sigma Certification Worth It?
- 5 Reasons to Earn a Six Sigma Certification
- Levels of Six Sigma
- How Six Sigma Can Help Businesses
What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a set of principles that are used to improve processes and reduce waste. Six Sigma also uses data-driven decision-making, allowing companies to make decisions based on solid data instead of guesswork or assumptions. Six Sigma helps organizations identify opportunities for improvement, measure performance against customer requirements, and develop solutions to address issues quickly and effectively.
Six Sigma aims to minimize variance and defect rates using statistical analysis. Six Sigma employs statistical methods to achieve this. Six Sigma is all about inspecting the supply chain for flaws, recognizing problems, and resolving them as efficiently as possible.
What is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma is a Six Sigma Curriculum program incorporating “lean” ideas. The Lean method eliminates waste and maximizes customer value with minimal expenditure. Lean is less focused on manufacturing than Six Sigma and affects all aspects of a business.
Lean Six Sigma integrates these two waste-reduction approaches and helps companies discover and fix inefficient processes. This interplay between lean and Six Sigma techniques helps remove processes that don’t add value to the company.
Many Six Sigma Black Belt programs are Lean Six Sigma programs, even though the word “lean” is not included in the name. Regarding certificates, the distinction between the two techniques is who backs them. Six Sigma is governed by the ASQ (American Society for Quality), while Lean Six Sigma is governed by the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC).
What is a Six Sigma Certification?
Six Sigma certifications are given depending on the level of contribution required and are earned either after completing a specific training course or passing multiple-choice exams. These certifications can help employers understand a candidate’s training and knowledge regarding Six Sigma principles, which can lead to better hiring decisions for both parties involved.
Is Six Sigma Certification Worth It?
The Six Sigma certification is a well-known and respected way for individuals to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities to lead projects or roles. It comes in two variants: Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma. However, it’s also expensive to achieve. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?
As businesses look for ways to streamline their services and reduce costs, more are turning to Six Sigma certifications to find potential employees with the right skill set. So it may be worth it, depending on your career goals.
The Six Sigma certification includes a variety of benefits. A Six Sigma certification is worth it to increase your earnings, skillset, and value as an employee while proving that you are qualified for Six Sigma-related positions. Let’s review a few more benefits of getting certified in Six Sigma methods.
5 Reasons to Earn a Six Sigma Certification
1. Improves Business Processes & Sustains Quality Improvement
The Six Sigma certification enables you to improve a company’s production and business operations. You can also analyze existing procedures to see how they affect quality. Certification shows employers that you can maintain the industry’s high standards of quality improvement, which includes monitoring processes to ensure they depart as little as possible from the norm and applying corrective steps when necessary.
2. Helps Reduce Risk, Errors, and Defects
Identifying and correcting potential problems before they arise saves businesses time and money on rework. This leads to more profitability and lower operating expenses. For example, GE saved $8 billion by finding and removing flaws using Six Sigma methodologies.
3. Proves Your Qualified for Six Sigma-related Positions
A Six Sigma certification involves real-world project experience. It provides you with business-related experience. As a Six Sigma professional, you’ll have industry expertise before entering. This will offer you an advantage over newcomers and give you valuable results you can share as you search and interview for jobs.
4. Excellent Salary and Room for Growth
Six Sigma-certified experts are among the world’s highest-paid professionals. You can increase your salary by attaining different levels of certifications. Let’s review the salaries you can earn at each level (or belt) according to Payscale research:
- The average White Belt salary is USD $65,000.
- The average Yellow Belt salary is USD $71,000.
- The average Green Belt salary is USD $87,000.
- The average Back Belt salary is USD $106,000.
- The average Master Back Belt salary is USD $126,000.
5. Increase Your Skill Set and Value as an Employee
No matter what business you’re in, you can apply Six Sigma methods since its industry-agnostic. Six Sigma professionals are well-versed in a wide range of techniques for improving business operations, increasing employee satisfaction, lowering expenses, and boosting revenue. In any industry, these all make you a valuable asset for businesses.
Levels of Six Sigma
Similar to martial arts, the levels of Six Sigma certifications are divided by belt colors. Let’s review each belt:
The White Belt level covers basic concepts. White Belts use this foundation to work on quality management and waste reduction projects and problems.
Yellow Belts may have attended training sessions for a day or two, gaining the knowledge they need to contribute to a project. In addition, they guide limited-scope projects and help higher-belt managers.
The Green Belt certification requires a full course on Six Sigma methods for improving products, services, and processes. This improvement cycle outlines steps to understand a business process’s problems, set valuable metrics for measuring changes, examine relevant data, implement solutions, and sustain results. After obtaining a Green belt, professionals can manage projects and help Black Belts collect and analyze data.
After Green Belt courses, professionals can pursue Black Belt certification. Professionals with this advanced training can plan, lead, and explain complex projects and changes. Black Belts drive organization-wide changes, analyze statistics, and supervise Green Belt projects.
Master Black Belt
The Master Black Belt is Six Sigma’s top level. These professionals shape strategy, develop critical metrics, consult, and coach Black and Green Belts. A Master Black Belt in Six Sigma requires strong leadership and problem-solving skills.
How Six Sigma Can Help Businesses
The main benefit of Six Sigma certification for enterprises is that it improves business efficiency. This reduces costs, improves customer satisfaction, and boosts employee productivity. One area where it can be particularly useful is in product design. Using statistical methods to reduce key variable uncertainty can help create more reliable, appealing products.
Six Sigma can help businesses improve their internal processes and working culture in terms of management. For example, companies can ensure that every team member actively participates in the process by focusing on continuous improvement and measurement. Businesses can also use Six Sigma tools like Pareto charts and cause-and-effect diagrams to identify potential problems before they become serious.
Six Sigma can significantly impact any business, whether it’s a start-up or a Fortune 500 company. For example, in 2008, Crown Equipment Corp. saved around $1.5 million by integrating Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma techniques, according to ASQ. By applying the right tools, methods, and processes along with an overall commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, businesses can see results quickly.
Six Sigma is among the most well-respected certifications for business leaders and managers. The certification process is quite rigorous, and it takes a lot of studying, research, and preparation. However, it is worth it because the benefits of earning a Six Sigma certification are numerous, with one of the most prominent for individuals being that it can boost your earnings, skillset, and value as an employee. Also, it is worth it for businesses, which will profit from the cost reductions produced by process improvements.