What is a Six Sigma Green Belt?
Green Belt is a middle tier of Six Sigma certifications. Essentially, it’s an intermediate grade. A Green Belt knows a fair amount about Six Sigma methodology, and can support a Black Belt in a major project or take on minor projects under supervision.
Qualities of a Green Belt
Six Sigma Green Belt practitioners are:
- Educated in Six Sigma concepts.
- Experienced in Six Sigma methodology.
What Do Six Sigma Green Belts Do?
A Six Sigma Green Belt typically works under the supervision of a Black Belt. Because they know a fair amount about Six Sigma methodology, they perform a number of semi-autonomous tasks, like:
- Data collection
- Data analysis
- Running minor projects
- Leading small teams.
Due to working under a Black Belt, a Green Belt typically doesn’t directly direct an entire project. Instead, they tend to assist in problem solving efforts or take the lead on a portion of the project. This will often involve working with the data that Six Sigma projects rely on – including creating charts and tracking progress.
Many Green Belts are also working towards their Black Belt accreditation.
Time spent on Six Sigma projects
A lot of Green Belts won’t spend all of their work time on Six Sigma projects. Commonly, they’ll spend around 50% on these projects, although it could be as low as 25%.
How do Green Belts interact with Black Belts?
Because Green Belt is a lower-ranked certification than Black Belt, typically you’ll have a Black Belt supervising and guiding you. For example, you might have a Black Belt running a Quality Management department, while you lead a team within that department.
How Can a Six Sigma Green Belt Help Your Career?
The Six Sigma Green Belt certification tells prospective employers that you’re qualified to assist in running quality control and management programs. People with the required skill set are in high demand across the manufacturing and IT sectors in particular.
How Do You Become a Six Sigma Green Belt?
To gain the certification, most people find it simplest to attend a Green Belt course and study for a few weeks afterwards to ensure that the concepts stick. Then, once confident with the material, take an exam through one of the groups that offer Green Belt certification. Note that there is a cost for the exam, although many course providers can offer a slight discount on it – depending on the certifying organization, of course.
Who offers Six Sigma certifications?
There are three main ways to get certified in the world of Six Sigma:
- Companies with a strong Six Sigma legacy.
Of these, the most popular are:
- American Society for Quality (ASQ)
- International Association For Six Sigma Certification (IASSC)
- Villanova University.
You can read more about your options for certification here: What are the Most Recognized Six Sigma Certifications?
What are you expected to know?
While the body of knowledge is very similar for all Green Belts, certification providers all put an emphasis on different areas. So it’s wise to choose your certification organization early, then tailor your study accordingly.
You can see the knowledge requirements for the top three certifying organizations:
- Villanova Six Sigma Green Body of Knowledge
- ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge
- IASSC Six Sigma Green Belt Study Guide
How to learn what you need to know
You have options for learning what you need to obtain your Six Sigma certification. You can:
- Learn by yourself, using the above guides to ensure that you teach yourself everything required.
- Pay for an online or in-person course that will guide you through everything you need to know.
- Get a job with one of the companies that provides on-the-job Six Sigma training.
- Use a combination of these methods.
See the Pick the Right Six Sigma Training for You topic in this site’s FAQ for more information.