What is a Six Sigma Certification?

A Six Sigma Certification  proves your knowledge of a strategic control method that is used to identify errors within the processes and plans of an organization. For business professionals in nearly any industry, a Six Sigma Certification can help propel career advancement or set the pace for a successful career change. Six Sigma teaches the fundamental skills that individuals need to know in order to excel in today’s data-based work environment, with a methodology focused on analytics, communication, and informed decision making. From finance to health care to the non-profit world, it’s become a mainstay achievement for those who are looking to do bigger and better things, and it all starts with your belt level. But how do you know what belt to train in?

To best figure out where you should start with the Six Sigma belt levels, you need to know what each of them represent and the roles that they set you up to succeed in. Below, we’ll go into details of each of the Six Sigma belts to give you a better idea of what level you might like to pursue.

Six Sigma Belt Levels 

White Belt

The Six Sigma White Belt is the most basic belt you can achieve, but it still serves an important purpose. White Belts play a part-time, supportive role in the Six Sigma hierarchy, lending valuable insight and assisting in data collection. For many, the White Belt is a stepping stone into the Six Sigma system and a means of better understanding the methodology and value of the process. Some professionals start with a White Belt and then pursue training in one of the other 6 Sigma belts.

Yellow Belt

Professionals who achieve the Six Sigma Yellow Belt become well versed in the implementation and interpretation of Six Sigma principles. They work primarily in a supportive context, either leading small, limited tasks, or working part-time as a team member on a project led by a more advanced belt. A Yellow Belt has a good grasp of Six Sigma concepts and performance methods, and contributes strongly to process improvement reviews.

Green Belt

The Six Sigma Green Belt is the first of the most comprehensive Six Sigma certifications. Green Belts generally commit about 20% to 50% of their time to Six Sigma projects, but the work they do is incredibly valuable, particularly in terms of data collection and analysis. They offer high proficiency in implementation of all Six Sigma concepts, as well as a fundamental understanding of best practices for interpreting and performing the principles of the Six Sigma methodology. Green Belts are the worker bees of the hierarchy, responsible for both ensuring the success of the project and leading small-scale improvements in their respective areas of expertise.

Black Belt

A Six Sigma Black Belt serves a full-time role leading, coaching, and training in Six Sigma projects. In addition to complete proficiency in Six Sigma ideology and performance, Black Belts are trained in optimal time management and leadership skills. A Black Belt is expected to make informed, targeted decisions that lead projects forward, and is instrumental in promoting team efficiency and project value. Ultimately, the Black Belt is responsible for the successful execution of the Six Sigma project, developing, facilitating, coaching, and advising both management and project team members so that goals and deadlines can be met.

Master Black Belt

Of all the belts of Six Sigma, the Master Black Belt is the highest level—and the most comprehensive—that can be achieved. Master Black Belts are expertly versed in all Six Sigma concepts, and work closely with upper management and company leaders to promote project growth and facilitate communication between all levels of the corporate hierarchy. They also serve as mentors to other team members. A Master Black Belt designation is typically applied by project, and a professional may be a Master Black Belt for one circumstance but a Black Belt in others.

Which belt level is right for you?

If you want to do better in business, a Six Sigma certification is almost always the right way to go. With The Aveta Business Institute, you can take online, self-paced courses for every certification level. Aside from the Master Black Belt, none of the belt levels have prerequisites, so you can choose to pursue whichever level of expertise you would like to reach. Complete a certification in one belt level and you’ll have the option to upgrade to the next available course level for a special discounted rate.

Don’t stay stagnant in your career. Make a change that’s proven to lead to better performance and career advancement, with Six Sigma belt levels designed to optimize your existing talents and take you further in your industry. With training and certification from The Aveta Business Institute, you’ll learn everything you need to succeed as a Six Sigma professional, with independently focused courses that work with your schedule. Visit our Courses Page for more information on achieving the Six Sigma belt of your choice.

Originally developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, the Six Sigma Training program was created using some of the most innovative quality improvement methods from the preceding six decades. The term "Six Sigma" is derived from a field of statistics known as process capability. The term 6 Sigma refers to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within specification. Processes that operate with "six sigma quality" over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma's goal is to improve overall processes to that level of quality or better.