Updated September 6, 2023
Overview of Six Sigma Certification Cost
Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology for project management that eliminates defects/errors in business processes. It measures the quality of product/services and manufacturing output. Six Sigma is a globally recognized qualification for process and quality improvement. Therefore, getting Six Sigma certification not only validates an individual’s capability to comply with rigorous standards but also gives distinction as a project manager. Six Sigma certified professionals are quite in demand in almost all the industries. In this topic, we are going to learn about Six Sigma Certification Cost.
As in the Six Sigma methodology, practitioners are labeled by belt colors corresponding to the level of expertise, the certification costs tend to increase with each level/belt in most organizational training. However, unlike the project management certifications, there is no centralized body like the PMI (Project Management Institute) that sets standards or protocols for certification. Thus, Six Sigma certifications are industry-specific and a ‘Black Belt certified practitioner’ is ultimately responsible for training and coaching the six sigma practitioners in ascending belts/levels. This Black Belt practitioner could be a consultant, coach, or an accredited member of an institute/organization that one is working for. As there is no governing body as such to set standards, there are many organizations and ways that provide Six Sigma accreditation. Thus, the cost for Six Sigma certification differs from organization to organization, as the cost of the exam varies. The certification for Six Sigma is categorized at six levels/stages, namely, White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, Master Black Belt, and Project Champion.
The leading organizations for Six Sigma accreditation are:
- The Council for Six Sigma Certification (CSSC)
- American Society for Quality (ASQ)
- The International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC)
One can obtain Six Sigma certification through any of these top-rated globally recognized organizations either from any coaching institute, training sessions, or self-study materials.
Costs of Different Belts of Six Sigma Certification
Here are the different types of Belts of Six Sigma certification:
1. White Belt Certification
White belt certification is for individuals who are just stepping into the world of Six Sigma. A white belt certified professional has a basic understanding of Six Sigma concepts. Since this certification is for beginners, it is quite low on cost. CSSC offers free accreditation for White Belt. The study materials are also free and individuals familiar with the concepts and methodology can directly appear for an exam with no formal training. Many other institutes charge around 100$ for comprehensive training which is for a day or so, for which certification can be obtained. Thus, White Belt accreditation is relatively low on cost. However, ASQ and IASSC do no offer official accreditation for White Belt.
2. Yellow Belt Certification
Firstly, it is not mandatory to be a White Belt before moving on to Yellow Belt, or even a Yellow Belt before you move on to a Green Belt. Though, the progression of certification indicates your progress/job readiness in Six Sigma. White Belt signifies the basic understanding of Six Sigma methodology, while, a yellow belt is essentially a team member in improvement projects that are led by Green or Black Belts. So, a white belt may never have been a part of a project improvement team, but a yellow belt is the one who has participated in the project teams.
The cost of appearing for the Yellow Belt examination differs based on the organizations you choose. IASSC charges 195$ for Six Sigma accreditation, while CSSC has the certification priced for 79$. An ASQ accreditation for yellow belt costs 394$ for the ones with no membership, while it is 294$ for ASQ members. Also, it offers reasonable discounts for further certifications.
However, certification costs from local training institutes or other autonomous programs, tend to vary and are mostly under 200$.
3. Green Belt Certification
Green belt certification is a stage that is distinguished from the rest two belts, in the capacity to lead Six Sigma projects within an organization. Green belts possess the expertise and efficiency in business process improvements and are capable to identify project problems and solutions for the same. Because of the higher level of expertise, Green belt certification often have many prerequisites before appearing for an exam.
ASQ certification requires 3 years of full-time job experience in more than one area specific to the green belt. 338$ are charged for ASQ members and 438$ for the non-members to appear for an exam.
Costs to repeat the exam is 238$. CSSC green belt certification is offered in two steps:
- Standard Green Belt Certification
- Green Belt II Certification
However, the CSSC level II certification cannot be obtained before completing the first level. The cost of CSSC green belt certification is 119$ and to proceed to level II requires submission of six sigma projects for assessment and this process costs 300$. The IASSC green belt certification does not have any such criteria, though the training is must appear for an exam but not mandatory. The charges for the exam are 295$.
4. Black Belt Certification
The black belt is for the ones who wish to make a concrete career in Six Sigma. Black Belts are the leaders, managers, and trainers of the Six Sigma process. The role is vast and challenging which requires to manage a team of green and yellow belts.
When it comes to Black Belt accreditation, ASQ has precise guidelines and rigid prerequisites. For the same, applicants must have submitted two projects with signed affidavits or a single project with a signed affidavit with 3 years of full-time experience. The exam costs are 438$ for ASQ members and 538$ for non-members.
CSSC administers Black Belt in levels. The first level costs 159$ and the exam fees for level II is 300$ which also requires submission of one project. The level III and Master Black Belt requires additional projects and at least 4 years of experience in leading Six Sigma Black Belt projects respectively. The CSSC level III costs 300$ and the exam fees for Master Black Belt is 665$. The IASSC does not have any such prerequisites and charges 395$ for Black Belt certification.
Having discussed the costs, finding the right certification is entirely an individual’s choice. The ones looking to assimilate basic understanding or take up a good beginner course can opt for White or Yellow Belts. While those who wish to make a serious career in Six Sigma can go for Green or Black Belt certification. Career-wise, they are immensely impactful and worth investing in!
This has been a guide to Six Sigma Certification Cost. Here we discuss introduction and costs of different belts of six sigma certification. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –