A Six Sigma Green Belt is a type of Black Belt, meaning he or she has taken the course and passed the Black Belt exam with flying colors. Six Sigma Green Belts is the entry level employees in any Six Sigma organization. They are usually responsible for training and developing new employees, but they do not have the authority to hire. The Six Sigma Black Belt, on the other hand, is an employee who is given a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, meaning that he or she has the necessary Six Sigma Black Belt training and knowledge to sit for and pass the Six Sigma Black Belt certification exam. Six Sigma Black Belts is the highest level of employees in any organization, and they are responsible for training everyone who is certified, as well as administering any exams that need to be administered.
The authors of the popular handbook, The Six Sigma Way, tout the black belts as the best workers to hire for the job. While there is no doubt that black belts bring more wisdom and information to the table than do others, the authors do not take into account the variation between individuals. Individuals will have different strengths and weaknesses, while also bringing different perspectives to the table. As an example, you could have the most advanced knowledge of the Six Sigma method, but if you are not the most comfortable or have not worked in a specific setting, then you will be better suited for a job where you can demonstrate your knowledge. Therefore, it is important to look at the variations between individuals and select those with whom you can build a successful team.
Another common area of the handbook and its followers discuss is the different levels of Six Sigma Certification. You may choose to obtain your black belt certification, or you could decide to become a master black belt. The authors do a good job of articulating the differences between the various levels of Six Sigma Certification. However, they do not take into consideration the variation between a black belt and a grandmaster, and therefore it is possible for even a person with a minor level certification to earn a four-year degree by successfully passing the certification exam. However, with a master’s degree, you will be responsible for training not only the members of your team, but anyone else who would be advised to use your techniques. In addition, a master’s degree also requires that you pass a large number of exams before one is awarded.
Because of this complication, it is unlikely that the authors of a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt handbook would recommend taking the exam for the first time, especially since it will probably be the last certification exam you will need to take before getting your real job. Instead, they recommend continuing your education in order to take the red belt exam, which is somewhat of a more challenging test and considered necessary for obtaining a black belt. This examination is also longer than the ones required for the white belts, and you will likely spend about one hundred hours studying for it. If you take this route, you can expect to finish in about two years, which is still considerably more time than the twenty-five months it takes to be certified.
However, there is another area the authors touch on that can have an impact on your employment opportunities: the salary survey. The authors mention that “many employers” look at the CEGS certifications, and, “There is a real difference between the actual level of quality that employees receive and the benchmark rating companies use.” The benchmark scorecard is the standard used by all companies when calculating your salary. Although your job responsibilities do not directly correlate with the scorecard, many employers will still do a salary survey based on your CEGS certification. It is here that your certification can have an impact.
Since getting certified is extremely difficult, it makes sense to focus your efforts on getting your certifications as soon as possible. The authors of the Certified Six Sigma Green Belt handbook recommend “preparation and research,” and recommend undertaking this preparation before applying for the certification exam. The study guide offers a list of questions, answers, and detailed instructions, which you should follow. You should also spend some time familiarizing yourself with the main process. There is a detailed guide on the main test site, and there are plenty of magic videos and articles on the internet.
You should also complete a thorough salary survey before applying for your certifications. The authors of the guide recommend doing this on your own, but you can also look up the requirements for your particular certification. In addition to getting your CEGS certifications, there is a significant salary bump associated with them. When you get a better understanding of what the main process is, you can start looking for jobs with much more confidence.