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What is Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, and How Do You Get It?

six sigma black belt certification

Errors and defects are the bane of today’s manufacturing companies. Unstable economic times, heavy competition, and supply chain issues create an atmosphere that allows little room for error. Today’s businesses need a sound methodology to improve quality and build good customer relations. That’s where Six Sigma comes in.

This article answers the question, “What is Six Sigma Black Belt certification?” We will discuss what a Black Belt in Six Sigma means, the certification requirements and training methodologies, and why earning a Six Sigma Black Belt certification is a good idea.

But before we get into the hows and whys, let’s focus on the “what.”

Let’s Discuss Terminology

It’s essential to establish some definitions before we talk about what is Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a set of tools and methodologies to improve business processes by minimizing variation, reducing defects and errors, and increasing efficiency and quality. Six Sigma is a data-driven project management system emphasizing data and statistics to measure productivity, effectiveness, and the success of the company’s different processes.

Six Sigma Black Belt

Six Sigma Black Belts are professionals with solid working knowledge of Six Sigma methodologies. In addition to having Six Sigma technical knowledge, Six Sigma Black Belts are expected to be leaders in change within an organization and assume a vital leadership role.


Lean is a continuous improvement methodology that began at the Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. Lean is a systematic approach to spot and remove waste in manufacturing processes to deliver more excellent value to customers using fewer resources.

Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a hybrid strategy that combines the best of Six Sigma (e.g., consistency and quality) with the best of Lean (e.g., efficiency) to help businesses deliver greater customer value via efficient operations and quality standards, resulting in higher quality products and services.

Also Read: Six Sigma Tools: Here’s Top Powerful Tools You Should Know in 2024

What is a Black Belt in Six Sigma?

Black Belt certification in Six Sigma is considered the expert level of Six Sigma methodology. Professionals in analysis, IT, and statistics often use Six Sigma to monitor their business’s efficiency with quantitative measures. The Six Sigma Black Belt certification means the manager is an expert in streamlining operations and improving business analysis, project management, and functionality. Six Sigma professionals must work through the lesser belt levels to become certified Black Belt.

Six Sigma Black Belts are typically managers and often mentor Green Belts. Black Belts and Green Belts are actually very similar, except the former takes a more significant leadership role.

All About Six Sigma Black Belt Training Methodology

Black Belt training in the Six Sigma methodology emphasizes an organization’s production and manufacturing side using two principal concepts: DMAIC, which focuses on the company’s needs, and DMADV, which focuses on the customer’s needs. Black Belts become experts in both Six Sigma methodologies. Let’s take a closer look at the DMAIC and DMADV concepts.


DMAIC is a data-driven Six Sigma methodology created to improve existing processes and products. The acronym stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Define measures the process to be investigated and researched to improve. Measure determines the parameters to compare via data and other metrics. The Analysis develops solutions and improvements to be tested as hypotheses. The Improvements are implemented to increase the efficiency and production of the company’s goals. Finally, Control develops a process to continually measure, review, and improve the new process.


DMADV is the design aspect of the Six Sigma process, motivating the design or redesign of the manufacturing process. The acronym stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Validate. Define identifies the customers’ needs considered when developing or improving products. Measure collects the customers’ behavior, data, and satisfaction levels. Developing these metrics lets you best categorize the areas for improvement, progress, and failures. Analyze activities include studying data and metrics to decide which products and services need improvement. Design develops a business model and process to meet the company’s goals and customer needs. Finally, Validate confirms that the changes meet the customers’ needs and continue improving the process.

Also Read: What is Value Stream Mapping? Process, Examples, and Everything You Need to Know

What Are the Black Belt Certification Requirements?

Here’s what you need to nail down to get your Six Sigma Black Belt certification:

  • Before anything else, you must have your Green Belt certification
  • Have at least three years of full-time professional experience
  • Foster expertise in generating improvements by using multivariate metrics
  • Earn work experience in a core knowledge area
  • Complete at least two Six Sigma projects, applying all Six Sigma functions
  • Devote time to Six Sigma execution and particular tasks
  • Prove your leadership in process problem-solving and demonstrate your ability to train or coach project teams

How to Get a Black Belt in Six Sigma in Six Easy Steps

If you want that prestigious Sigma Black Belt certification, follow these six simple steps:

Acquire your Six Sigma Green Belt

If you still need to earn your Six Sigma Green Belt, complete this certification level first. Many institutions that offer Six Sigma certification can provide Green Belt refresher courses to help prepare you for Black Belt certification training. Black Belt concepts continue directly from the Green Belt level, so having this credential is essential first.

Master the Six Sigma strategies of DMAIC and DMADV

Mastering DMAIC and DMADV can boost your qualifications to earn Six Sigma certifications. These requirements include decreased manufacturing defects, analysis, decreased errors, and improved cycle times, resulting in no more than 3.4 defects per million units.

Complete your Black Belt coursework

Although not mandatory, completing Six Sigma Black Belt training through a Six Sigma trainer, corporate program, or accredited institution can help prepare you for the exam. Training typically builds on concepts you learned from the Green Belt level. This training usually includes project management, enterprise integration and deployment, data analysis, leadership and team management, business performance, and financial measures.

Complete and submit your Six Sigma project requirement

Many testing and certifying facilities require submitting a completed project using tools that conform to Six Sigma methodologies. Six Sigma projects often illustrate quality improvement models that reflect real-world productivity measures and performance, improving processes in the service and manufacturing industries. Six Sigma projects usually cover applications in human resources, product quality analysis, manufacturing operations, and financial activities.

Take and pass the certification exam

The International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) provides each level of Six Sigma certification. Depending on the certifying institution, you can take practice tests to ascertain your performance before your exam. Many institutions also give the certification exam as an open-book assessment. Research the organization so you can understand the exam requirements.

Apply for Black Belt certification

When you pass the certification exam, you are now a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB). This credential verifies your advanced project management knowledge and analysis techniques that conform to the Six Sigma program and can prepare you to advance your knowledge to the master level. With Black Belt certification, you can take advantage of mentorship opportunities, undergo leadership development, and get advanced training to put yourself in a better position to pursue your Master Black Belt credentials. Certification can further increase your career prospects, income potential, and opportunities for advancement.

Also Read: Six Sigma Black Belt Salaries in 2024: Everything You Need to Know!

So, Should I Get a Six Sigma Black Belt?

Although there’s no such thing as knowing too much, certifications take time and money. You should earn a Six Sigma Black Belt if you hold, or plan to, in the future, a senior technical role such as a project manager, a quality manager, an operations manager, or a new product engineer or manager. If you’re in a junior role in technical industries and plan to stay there, a Green Belt certificate is probably enough.

So, is the Six Sigma Black Belt certification cost worth it? Let’s look at why Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification is a good idea.

Reasons Why You Should Become a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Here are the main reasons to pursue a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt:

  • More job opportunities. Six Sigma Black Belt professionals often can increase their job prospects to senior and upper-management roles and qualify for higher-level promotions.
  • Boosts your knowledge of tools and methods. Six Sigma Black Belt certification training teaches complex topics that are built on each previous Six Sigma level.
  • Increases earning potential. Six Sigma Black Belt experts typically earn higher salaries than their White, Yellow, and Green Belt counterparts. According to Glassdoor.com, the average annual salary of a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt-trained professional is $146,937.
  • Supports leadership development. Black Belt certification prepares professionals for leadership roles on teams that work with Six Sigma’s concepts, tools, and methods.
  • Sets you apart from the pack. Top-level managers and corporate officers often gain Black Belt certification before they earn these roles. Certification distinguishes you from the field of candidates.
  • Fosters innovation. The increased training that Black Belt certification brings helps you better develop strategies to create and implement innovations that can improve your team’s productivity.

Do You Want Lean Six Sigma Certification?

If you’re convinced of the value of a Six Sigma Black Belt certification, why not check out this Lean Six Sigma course? This 24-week program uses live interactive classes, case studies, and projects to teach you valuable skills in Lean Six Sigma. The course is aligned with IASSC-Lean Six Sigma.

So check out this fantastic bootcamp and acquire the valuable Lean Six Sigma skills to enhance your career or begin a new one!


Q: What is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt?

A: Lean Six Sigma Black Belt combines Lean methodology with Six Sigma Black Belt. This methodology combines Lean’s management, waste control, and team leadership ideas with Six Sigma’s Black Belt’s methods of reducing errors and flaws.

Q: How long does It take to get a Six Sigma Black Belt?

A: Six Sigma Black Belt certification typically takes between one to three months to study for and complete. The exact time depends on the organization you’re earning your certification with.

Q: Can I start with Six Sigma Black Belt?

A: No. You must work your way through the other belts first.

Q: Why is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification in high demand?

A: There are three reasons why Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification is in such high demand:

  • The position pays exceptionally well
  • The position is in high demand, so there’s less hassle in finding a job
  • Companies today are especially keen on reducing waste and streamlining their operations

You might also like to read:

A Guide to Six Sigma Projects

Quality Management Process: A Beginner’s Guide

Six Sigma Books Worth Reading

What is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt?

How To Get Six Sigma Green Belt Certification?

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Lean Six Sigma Certification


6 months

Learning Format

Online Bootcamp

Program Benefits