Definition of Six Sigma Black Belt

by Andrew Campanella; Updated September 26, 2017
A successful black belt is worth his weight in gold.

A Six Sigma black belt is a specialist who saves the company money. The job of the black belt consists of analyzing business and operations processes and suggesting and implementing more efficient ways of performing functions, which in turn will hopefully save the company money. A person who has a black belt certification is usually highly sought after by any company looking to improve its bottom line.

Six Sigma

The measurement of a process provides the information for improvement.

Training in Six Sigma is what leads to the title of black belt, and although there are different levels of training, the black belt is usually paid the best. Six Sigma is the study of operational and business performance through measurements and statistical analysis. It leads to finding more efficient ways of performing a process, in turn saving money for the company.

Black Belt

Each level of certification has its place.

The black belt title is one of several levels of training a person can achieve in the Six Sigma area. Yellow belt is the lowest level. Green belt is the next, followed by black belt, and then finally master black belt. Each level, or belt as they are referred to, has a certain amount of training and performs certain tasks in a business. The black belt or master black belt is a person in a company whose main duties are all based on improving operations and processes within the organization.

History

Six Sigma has developed over many years of success and failure.

Six Sigma started at Motorola as a way to reduce defects in the manufacturing process. From this, the company developed it into a research project. The company dedicated a department to its development and implementation. Today, Six Sigma is a set of practices and methodologies designed to help any business process become more efficient, whether it is analyzing manufacturing, administration or sales and marketing. The benefits a black belt can offer are numerous and profitable.

Certification

Each level of certification adds to a person's qualifications.

Each belt requires a certain amount of training, a written proficiency test and a hands on application solving real-world problems. The certification and training for each belt may vary from school to school but the concepts, tools and methods are the same. A black belt or master black belt will prove through testing and hands on application the ability to develop and implement process improvements successfully through the use of tools and methods learned.

Job Position

A master black belt can just about write his own paycheck.

Large companies have begun creating a department with positions based around Six Sigma practices and principles. A black belt can earn $100,000 per year or more depending on experience. The position is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing process improvement projects in all areas of the company. He also is responsible for tracking data both before and after an implementation and reporting to the company executives the successes and failures of the projects.

About the Author

Andrew Campanella has been writing policies and procedures, requests for proposals and purchasing contracts since 1995. He has been published on eHow and Answerbag, where he specializes in business management and process improvement topics. Campanella attended Utah State University.

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