Becoming a Black Belt In Six Sigma is one of the most rewarding professional opportunities that a business owner or manager can pursue. It’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible. In this article, we’ll walk through the steps for earning your Six Sigma Black Belt certification so you can be confident about starting this journey.
How to Become a Black Belt in Six Sigma
Becoming a Six Sigma Black Belt is a rigorous process that takes two years or more. It’s broken up into two distinct parts: the Core and the Practitioner. The Core consists of 26 courses, including projects and exams, while The Practitioner portion consists of additional training and coursework.
To become a Black Belt, candidates must complete all three parts of the certification program—Core, Practitioner, and Master (which requires passing an advanced project). To get their Black Belts, candidates need to pass their Core certifications first before moving on to accrue hours in the field under supervision from an authorized trainer.
Once they have those hours under their belts, they can then apply for their Practitioner certification by taking an exam that tests their knowledge base as well as practical application experience. Candidates who successfully pass both this exam and another called “Supervisor” will then be eligible for advancement onto Master status if they choose it or may elect instead to pursue other career paths outside of Six Sigma programs once they’ve hit this milestone level.
Understanding Six Sigma
Six Sigma is a quality management system that focuses on reducing defects and increasing efficiency. It is a methodology for process improvement, as well as a set of tools and techniques used to improve quality and eliminate defects. Six Sigma uses a data-driven approach that focuses on small changes in processes to achieve large gains in productivity and cost savings.
Six Sigma can be applied in any industry where there are processes that could be improved by eliminating waste, reducing variation, or improving speed and throughput. A fundamental aspect of the Six Sigma philosophy is that every process will have some inherent level of variability; therefore, it’s important for you to know how much variation exists in your own business before deciding what type of improvement efforts should be implemented first.
- Why Become Black Belt Certified?
- Recognition of your skills.
- Increased credibility.
- Increased job opportunities.
- Increased salary.
- Increased job satisfaction.
What the Black Belt Certification Entails
The certification process for a black belt is a rigorous one, but once you’ve completed it, you will be officially recognized as an expert in the field.
To earn your black belt in six sigma, you must first pass both parts of the certification exam: a written exam and a performance-based exam.
The Cost of Getting Your Black Belt Certification
The cost of getting a black belt certification varies from program to program, but you can expect it to be anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. For example, Six Sigma Green Belt Training Academy trains people in the principles of Six Sigma using its online platform at no cost. If you’re looking for an in-person experience, ASQ offers its Black Belt Certification Program at various locations across the United States and charges $2,799 per person.
1. Choosing a Training Partner
It’s important to choose a training partner who will push you to improve, but not so much that the relationship becomes adversarial. A good training partner should be someone who is driven by the same desire to be better than they were yesterday and has the patience and perseverance to help you see your full potential. There are many ways of finding such a person:
- Ask friends who they train with.
Look on social media groups or LinkedIn groups for people who have similar interests as you do, or post an ad on LinkedIn yourself advertising your availability as a training partner.
- Check out local martial arts schools or gyms in your area: some may offer black belt certification classes as well!
2. With some planning and practice, you can become a Six Sigma Black Belt.
To become a Black Belt in Six Sigma, you need to be prepared and willing to put in the work. You’ll want to make sure that the goal of your study is achievable, so it’s not something that will take up all of your free time forever. As long as you have a solid plan and are willing to put in some time on paper before actually taking on any projects (and being able to set some realistic expectations), then becoming a Black Belt shouldn’t be too challenging.
Six Sigma also has different levels of certification depending on what type of project or initiative they’re working with. This means that if someone wants to specialize their knowledge in certain areas of improvement like Lean Manufacturing or Quality Management, they can do so by taking more advanced classes covering those topics specifically instead of just general training materials, which would cover less information overall.
3. Career Paths in Six Sigma
A Black Belt is a professional who has completed all three levels of training in six sigma methodology and can apply it across multiple business sectors by using their leadership skills and project management abilities as well as their knowledge about Lean Manufacturing, Quality Control Systems, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) processes and information technology systems used in manufacturing environments.
Black Belts have many career paths available to them, including:
- Consulting – Consultants help organizations create strategies for improving areas such as productivity, quality control systems, and customer satisfaction through the use of Lean Manufacturing principles along with other tools like Six Sigma methodologies. (source)
- Project Management – A black belt project manager may work on projects like improving manufacturing efficiency through TPM processes while also making sure they stay within budget constraints set by upper management. (source)
The Black Belt certification is an exciting, challenging, and rewarding journey. Throughout this process, you will be learning new skills that will help you achieve success in your career and life. If you are considering becoming a Six Sigma Black Belt, then we encourage you to take the first step towards making it happen by contacting your local ISQI office for more information on how to get started today!