Difference between Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt Certification

The process of Six Sigma describes important roles and capabilities in any project’s development. Master Black Belt is the top certification and may often be the architecture of Six Sigma projects. However, the implementation of Six Sigma ideas and success of each individual project is down to the work of Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt. 

For many candidates, their journey to becoming an expert in Six Sigma is earning a certification as a Green Belt or Black Belt. These two certifications are the most common belts earned in Six Sigma. Both of these credentials let professionals take on larger and important roles in process improvement.

Individuals who hold a Green Belt Certification or Black Belt Certification often work together with project teams; both of them have distinctly different skill-sets and roles on project teams. In either case, earning a certification usually leads to higher salary pay and a better possibility for career advancement.

Green Belt VS Black Belt

Six Sigma Green Belt 

The most common and fundamental difference between Six Sigma Black Belt and Six Sigma Green Belt is that the green Belt professionals still maintain their normal job duties within the organisation.

Six Sigma Green Belt professionals do require a high level of training when compared to Black belt professionals and will be expected to show their capabilities in executing Six Sigma projects. Depending on the structure of the industry, Green Belt professionals will act as either part-time project leaders—particularly as part of local Six Sigma projects—or part-time team members. As the certified professionals keep their normal duties as well, it is hoped that Green Belt certified individuals would also be able to bring elements of their Six Sigma training into their everyday activities of the company as well.

Six Sigma Black Belt

A Six Sigma Black Belt professional is full-time change management within the organisation. With a good understanding of Six Sigma concepts, methods and tools, and a proficiency in achieving results through the Six Sigma processes, Black Belt professionals are tasked with taking high-scale projects that help the organisation achieve improvement its overall strategic objectives.

The role of Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification individual is best described as project management, incorporating leadership, project analysis and coaching skills. There are specific responsibilities that may include acting as a Six Sigma technical expert and behaving as a coach and mentor to Green Belt professionals within the project team. Black Belt professionals will often recommend high performing Green Belt professionals for certification. Black Belt Certification is often viewed as a stepping stone to promotion within an organisation; effective Black Belt training is important to the Six Sigma process. Black Belt are so particular to the execution and delivery of Six Sigma projects that Black Belt training is often the first step for organizations that implement the Six Sigma process.

The Six Sigma Belt Levels

Here are the various Six Sigma levels: 

  •   White Belt—This certification is the beginner’s belt. White Belt gives professionals with a fundamental working knowledge of Six Sigma methodologies and how they can affect an organization. 
  •   Yellow Belt—At this level, professionals gain more knowledge about Six Sigma concepts and, in a project setting, will help in gathering data and designing process maps
  •   Green Belt–Those who earn a Green Belt are professionals who are expert in the tools and methods of Six Sigma. Earning a Green Belt certification often requires passing a multiple-choice exam.
  •   Black Belt—At this level, professionals have a mastery of Six Sigma tools, concepts and data analysis and can lead project teams. For Black Belt certification, candidates are required to complete a Six Sigma project and pass an exam.
  •   Master Black Belt—The highest level of Six Sigma certifications, Master Black Belt typically guides Black Belt professionals and influences enterprise-wide projects. Master Black Belt Certification requires a minimum of five years of experience as a Black Belt or the completion of a minimum of 10 Six Sigma Black Belt projects, and candidates must pass a certification exam.

Effective Six Sigma training is at the core of the process. Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt are the basics of the Six Sigma process are their knowledge of the tools, understanding of problems, skill-set and an understanding of concepts of Six Sigma that can make or break the success of the process within an organization. 


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