Six Sigma Belts

Six Sigma Belts

Six Sigma Belts loosely parallel the merit-based belt system you see in American martial arts school. Lighter colored belts are novices, black belts are experts, and anything beyond is considered at the top of the profession.

Generally 3 belts are recognized in the industry; Green, Black, and Master Black Belts. The roles, requirements and expectations differ slightly between various organizations but they tend to follow this pattern:

Six Sigma Green Belt

50% allocated. A little training. Certifications offered. Learn more about Six Sigma Green Belts here.

Six Sigma Black Belt

100% allocated. Often train green belts and manage Six Sigma projects. Certifications and training offered.

Learn more by exploring an outline of what it required for each certification body:

Villanova Six Sigma Black Belt Study Guide

ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt Study Guide

IASSC Six Sigma Black Belt Study Guide

Six Sigma Master Black Belt

100% allocated. Six Sigma Master Black Belts often mentor aspiring black belts. Consult and remove obstacles from Black Belt teams. Certifications offered from ASQ, Villanova, and IASSC. Learn more about Six Sigma Master Black Belts here.


Also see Six Sigma Team roles and responsibilities.


Yellow Belts – a contrived belt.

2 comments… add one
  • armoore

    I disagree with the yellow belt being “contrived.” I find that it is a useful overview that can assist the learner in staff development. It also provides a foundation for the green and/or black belt certifications.

    • Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Great that you are finding value with yellow belts. I personally have never seen one that has made a difference. I’d be interested in a case study that shows otherwise. What has your experience been? Which yellow belt course have you seen help and what were the measurable effect on your staff?

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