Help Me Choose a Lean Six Sigma Belt/Level

Below we break-down the differences you can expect between the various levels by earning potential and also by certification requirements.

White Belt Notice: The White Belt Certification is excluded from the comparisons as a White Belt is not a team member during a Lean Six Sigma initiative. The White Belt Certification only provides a basic overview of the methodology; and therefore is unlikely to significantly impact an individual’s earning potential.

What Belt Do I Need?

An individual with expertise and deep knowledge of the Six Sigma methodology can be an asset to any organization. The following should provide insight into Six Sigma earning potential.

There are four levels of achievement. As the level of accomplishment increases, so does the opportunity to increase your value to an organization.

Selection Guide
Basic Understanding
Statistical Work
Project Leadership
Experienced
Minimum Hours
Projects
Salary Increase
Responsibilities
Yellow Belt
20
N/A**
Green Belt
35
➕ ➕ ➕
Gather & test data
Black Belt
95
➕ ➕ ➕ ➕
Delegate & report
Black Belt Level II, III,
& Master Black Belt
Varies
➕ ➕ ➕ ➕ ➕
Direct large initiatives & mentor

Certification Requirements Comparison:

White

Exam Assessment Fee: Free
  • Official Certification
  • No Prerequisites
  • 30 Question Multiple Choice Exam
  • Exam is open-book & non-timed
  • Unlimited Exam Attempts
  • 70% Minimum Score Required
  • Certification never expires
  • Exam only available online
  • Free Self-Study Guide Available

Yellow

Exam Assessment Fee: $79
  • Official Certification
  • No prerequistes
  • 50 Question Multiple Choice Exam
  • Exam is open-book & non-timed
  • 3 Exam Attempts
  • 70% Minimum Score Required
  • Certification never expires
  • Exam available online or at a worldwide testing center
  • Free Self-Study Guide Available

Green

Exam Assessment Fee: $119
  • Official Certification
  • No Prerequisites
  • 100 Question Multiple Choice Exam
  • Exam is open-book & non-timed
  • 3 Exam Attempts
  • 70% Minimum Score Required
  • Certification never expires
  • Exam available online or at a worldwide testing center
  • Free Self-Study Guide Available
  • Upgrade available to Level II Green Belt upon completion

Green II

Project Assessment Fee: $300
  • Official Certification
  • Prerequisites Apply
  • Project Submission Requirement
  • 3 Project Revisions Permitted
  • Certification never expires

Black

Exam Assessment Fee: $159
  • Official Certification
  • No Prerequisites
  • 150 Question Multiple Choice Exam
  • Exam is open-book & non-timed
  • 3 Exam Attempts
  • 70% Minimum Score Required
  • Certification never expires
  • Exam available online or at a worldwide testing center
  • Free Self-Study Guide Available
  • Upgrade available to Level II Black Belt upon completion

Black II

Project Assessment Fee: $300
  • Official Certification
  • Prerequisites Apply
  • Project Submission Requirement
  • 3 Project Revisions Permitted
  • Certification never expires
  • Upgrade available to Black Belt Level III upon completion

Black III

Project Assessment Fee: $300
  • Official Certification
  • Prerequisites Apply
  • Project Submission Requirement
  • 3 Project Revisions Permitted
  • Certification never expires
  • Free Self-Study Guide Available
  • Upgrade available to Master Black Belt upon completion

Master

Project/Exam Assessment Fee: $665
  • Official Certification
  • Prerequisites Apply
  • Various Project & Exam Requirements
  • Exam is open-book & non-timed
  • 3 Project Revisions Permitted
  • 3 Exam Attempts
  • 90% Minimum Score Required
  • Certification never expires
  • Exam available online or at a worldwide testing center
  • Free Self-Study Guide Available

What is at Stake?

Those entrusted to implement Six Sigma methodologies in an organization provide immense value. The goal is to do away with inconsistency, waste, and defects that challenge customer loyalty. More information can be found on our “what is Six Sigma” page.

What Does the Six Sigma Hierarchy Do Inside the Organization?

Black Belts keep all team members on track to reach goals and deadlines. Their primary task is project management; they are the individuals who define a Six Sigma project and its scope.

Green Belts are Six Sigma Professionals who work closely under Black Belts, responsible for doing most of the Six Sigma data collection. Green Belts are usually employees of a Six Sigma company who also have other day to day responsibilities within the framework of that company.

The Yellow Belt designation refers to employees that have basic training in the Six Sigma quality improvement methodology and participate in related projects. They have a basic understanding of the methodology and assume a supportive role to both Green and Black Belts within a Six Sigma Team.

During the course of a company-wide Six Sigma Implementation, certain issues and problems may arise. Experts, like Master Black Belts, can help resolve issues that come along and offer appropriate solutions to teams.

But why are there also different “levels” of Black Belts and Green Belts?

Years ago, a true Six Sigma Black Belt Certification required multiple projects to be completed.  However, over the years this requirement began disappearing; primarily because it was more profitable for training providers to skip the requirement. Easier requirements simply translate into higher enrollments (and increased profits). To bridge the gap that has been caused by many training providers in the industry, we offer several intermediary “steps” that allow people to obtain an achievement a higher respected achievement from an officially recognized organization.