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Best Six Sigma Certifications

Improve business process efficiency and effectiveness

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Six Sigma is a process to optimize production, efficiency, and effectiveness, and it's been adopted by companies all over the world that want to increase profits and reduce defects. The main steps in a Six Sigma Process are: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (or DMAIC). 

The best certification providers offer quality education with flexible courses, and they have great track records for both customer service and helping students pass their certification exams. We reviewed 36 Six Sigma certification providers to determine the best options available. Read on for our top choices.

The Best Six Sigma Certifications for 2022

Best Overall : American Society for Quality


American Society for Quality

American Society for Quality

Pros
  • Worldwide recognition for quality

  • Provides a certification verification registry

  • Focuses on subject mastery versus simply passing the exam

Cons
  • Must take your proctored exam during specific testing windows

  • Certifications need to be renewed at least every three years

  • Doesn’t offer Lean Six Sigma certification

Why We Chose It

American Society for Quality (ASQ) is the best overall Six Sigma Certification provider because of its global reputation, rigorous exam prep and training, focus on subject mastery, and certification registry.

ASQ was founded in 1946 and has members in over 130 countries. Aside from Six Sigma, it offers certification and training in management, foundational quality, inspector/technician, engineering, and auditing. It’s the best overall Six Sigma certification provider because of its standards for quality, global recognition, and dedication to subject matter mastery. 

Training materials consist of a handbook, study guide, question bank, and certification prep. The certification prep is self-paced and online-only for the Yellow Belt. However, both Green and Black Belt offer the certification prep self-paced online, in a classroom, and live virtual. The time it takes to study for the exam depends on how fast you get through the materials. However, expect it to take two to six weeks. 

You can choose from Six Sigma Yellow, Green, and Black Belts, and each comes with its own costs and experience requirements.

  • Yellow Belt has no experience requirement and starts at $394 for certification, $424 for e-learning, and $119 for a question bank.
  • Green Belt requires three years of on-the-job industry-specific work experience and starts at $438 for certification, $824 for e-learning, $824 for live virtual learning, and $1,889 for face-to-face learning.
  • Black Belt requires three years of work experience in a Quality Management role; prices start at $538 for certification, $1,324 for e-learning, $1,224 for live virtual learning, $119 for the question bank, and $2,349 for face-to-face learning; ASQ members receive discounts on exams and recertifications.

Best Value : International Six Sigma Institute


International Six Sigma Institute

International Six Sigma Institute

Pros
  • Pay as little as $49 for certification

  • 100% money-back guarantee

  • Only requires an exam score of 60% to pass

Cons
  • No experience requirements for certification

  • Don’t have to complete a project for any of the Belts

Why We Chose It

International Six Sigma Institute (ISSI) offers affordable lifetime access to course materials and future updates.

ISSI has more than 600,000 clients in 143 countries. It offers affordable Six Sigma certifications costing as little as $49 for some Belts, and the courses come with a money-back guarantee. 

You can choose from the following Six Sigma certifications:

  • Green Belt ($69)
  • Black Belt ($99)
  • Master Black Belt ($149)
  • Champion ($149)
  • Deployment Leader ($149)
  • Yellow Belt ($49)
  • Trainer ($199)
  • Coach ($199)

You have one year to take your certification exam after paying for the online program. After passing, there are no recertification requirements or fees. There are no project or affidavit requirements for any of the Belts nor do you have to have work experience to test. 

Most people take one to four days to adequately prepare to pass the exam, while some can digest the material in just a couple of hours and pass. Each test has 50 questions and takes 60 minutes. A score of 60% is required to pass your exam. You get 10 tries and if you don’t pass, International Six Sigma Institute will give you your money back. 

Best Self-Paced Program : Lean Six Sigma Institute


Lean Six Sigma Institute

Lean Six Sigma Institute

Pros
  • Up to six months to use the training material after starting the course

  • Offers self-paced training at a steep discount

Cons
  • No experience requirements for certification

  • Must be motivated to get through the self-study material

Why We Chose It

The Lean Six Sigma Institute (LSSI) gives students six months to complete the self-paced training.

LSSI has been a provider of Lean Six Sigma certifications since 1998. With this self-paced program you get access to a community of Lean Six Sigma practitioners to lean on for support.

Training time varies, taking as little as 10 hours self-paced (or 15 hours instructor-led) for the Lean Champion Belt. For the most advanced training, Lean Master Black Belt, expect around 80 hours of self-paced study or 160 hours of instructor-led training. Self-paced training should take you approximately nine weeks to finish. 

LSSI offers these Belts at the following prices:

  • Lean Yellow ($699 self-paced, $1,299 instructor-led)
  • Lean Green ($999 self-paced, $2,399 instructor-led)
  • Lean Black ($1,499 self-paced, $3,499 instructor-led)
  • Lean Master Black ($1,999 self-paced coming soon, $4,599 instructor-led)
  • Lean Champion ($399 self-paced, $899 instructor-led)

Course prices include three months of Minitab Workspace, video demonstrations, downloadable content, and your exam. You have two days from the date of purchase to get a refund if you aren’t satisfied with the course material, and two attempts to pass the exam are included in your course price. If you fail both times, you must re-purchase the course.  

To receive your certificate you must receive 80% on your exam. Then, to receive Lean International Certification for any of the Belts, you must present a Lean Six Sigma project demonstrating Lean practices.

Best for Managers : Villanova University


Villanova University

Villanova University

Pros
  • Completely online

  • Exam fee included in tuition

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Only offers the Six Sigma Green Belt, and the rest are Lean Six Sigma Belts

  • No rolling start dates

Why We Chose It

Villanova University’s online courses offer simulated projects and advanced animations preparing you for real-world applications.

Founded in 1842, Villanova University is a private institution known for offering one of the best business schools in the nation, which lends a certain credibility to its Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma certificate. Going back to the 1980s when he started working with the Six Sigma methodology, Professor Marv Meissner focuses on skills highly applicable to managers like process mapping, potential problem analysis, decision analysis, and other problem-solving tools. 

Each class requires a different time commitment. For instance, the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course takes eight weeks whereas the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt takes 16 weeks. The other courses take eight weeks. 

To take the advanced Belt courses you must have the previous tier's certificate. For example, to take the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course, you must have a Six Sigma Green Belt. With University approval, your Belt from other institutions may count towards this requirement. 

Lean Six Sigma courses and prices are as follows:

  • Lean Six Sigma ($2,295)
  • Six Sigma Green Belt ($2,495)
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt ($4,095)
  • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt ($3,495)

Note that your exam fee is included in the course price. 

Active-duty service members, Guardsmen and Reservists, veterans, spouses, and their dependents can receive 15% savings on each course. Your employer may reimburse the purchase of your course.

Course materials include live online weekly classes, videos, online learning tools, and simulated projects. After completing the course and the required class project, you'll receive a certificate and can sit for the certification exam provided by Villanova.

Best Lean Program : GreyCampus


GreyCampus

GreyCampus

Pros
  • Full-length practice exams

  • Gamified learning modules

Cons
  • Must recertify within three years

  • Some courses only provide access to content for six months

  • Lean Six Sigma certifications through GreyCampus don’t have prerequisites or work experience requirements

Why We Chose It

GreyCampus is an IASSC-accredited training provider; the majority of students pass their certification exams thanks to its comprehensive coursework and supplemental boot camps.

GreyCampus is a Six Sigma training provider with students from more than 40 countries and over 1,000 organizations. In addition to its Six Sigma certifications, it also offers Professional Development Units toward project management credentials. You’ll be able to take simulated exams and receive exam analytics to see exactly what you need to work on to pass your real Lean Six Sigma exam.

Certification courses and prices include:

  • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training and Certification Program ($270, $1,119 with Bootcamp)
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Training and Certification Program ($360, $1,300 with Bootcamp)
  • Lean Six Sigma Green & Black Training and Certification Program ($590)
  • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Program (exam only $195)
  • Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification Program (exam only $95)
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Program (exam only $245)
  • Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training Course ($150)
  • Six Sigma Green Belt ($17)

Your coursework is self-paced, aside from Bootcamps, which consist of live four-day online classes. The Bootcamps come with instructor mentorship, access to learning platforms, and 24/7 support.

There are no prerequisites for the Lean Six Sigma courses, and the exams are proctored, but taken from home through a website.

Final Verdict

Earning your Six Sigma certification sets you apart from your peers, and can earn you a promotion at work. If you’re not working, it can help you land a job as it looks great on your resume. Most certifications take less than six months to complete, and your organization may even pay for it if it doesn't already have a path to certification in-house. 

While there are several quality options for your Six Sigma certification, we recommend starting with the American Society for Quality because of its dedication to quality and that it focuses on implementation rather than simply passing your test. However, the one you select depends on your goals, your budget, and the time you have to take a course.

Compare Providers

Best Six Sigma Certification
Company Name Certification Cost Levels Certified
American Society for Quality
Best Overall
$119 to $2,349 Green Belt, Yellow Belt, Black Belt, Master Black Belt
International Six Sigma Institute
Best Value
$49 to $199 Green Belt, Black Belt, Master Black Belt, Champion Deployment Leader, Yellow Belt, Trainer,  Coach 
Lean Six Sigma Institute
Best Self-Paced Program
$399 to $4,599 Lean Yellow Belt, Lean Green Belt, Lean Black Belt, Lean Master Black Belt, Lean Champion 
Villanova University
Best for Managers
$2,295 to $4,095 Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
GreyCampus
Best Lean Program
$15 to $1,300 Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Six Sigma Yellow Belt, Six Sigma Green Belt, Six Sigma Black Belt

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Six Sigma Certification?

Six Sigma certification is based on a methodology created by Bill Smith in 1986 to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and increase effectiveness. There are two certification tracks to consider: Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma. Both work towards the same goal of eliminating waste and improving efficiency. The difference is Six Sigma works to have consistent results and reduce defects, and Lean focuses on eliminating waste and increasing speed. 

Generally speaking, each track has the following Belt designations: 

  • White Belt: Gives a basic understanding of Six Sigma processes and helps support projects (many certification providers don’t even offer this level as it’s often included in Yellow Belt certification)
  • Yellow Belt: A more advanced understanding of Six Sigma compared to White Belt, but holders aren't yet leading projects on their own
  • Green Belt: Has an advanced understanding and leads their own projects or serves as a team member under a Black Belt
  • Black Belt: Leads teams, provides coaching and advice to management and employees, and works under a Master Black Belt
  • Master Black Belt: Leads Six Sigma efforts across the organization

You may need a Six Sigma certification if you want a promotion or to work as a leader in your organization. It can also help you land a job at other companies. Organizations desire Six Sigma-certified employees because they help improve business process efficiency and effectiveness. 

How Do I Get My Six Sigma Certification?

To get your Six Sigma certification you must enroll in a certification course and pass an exam. Sometimes employers offer certification directly through their own organization. Otherwise, you can enroll in a course offered by universities, colleges, or certification companies.

While taking your course you will learn about Six Sigma and how to apply it in the real world. Most courses also require a Six Sigma project to demonstrate proficiency before you take your certification exam. 

After passing your exam you'll earn a Belt designation. These operate a lot like karate belts as you must pass the first Belt to advance to the next one. Most companies offer a Yellow, Green, Black, and Master Black Belt. 

How Much Does Six Sigma Certification Cost?

Many companies provide their employees with in-house Six Sigma certification or pay for certification with a third party. However, people can receive their Six Sigma certification without going through their employer by taking a course on their own. 

If you choose to take a course on your own, be advised that the cost for certification can vary, ranging anywhere from free to thousands of dollars. The more expensive options tend to have a live teaching component, either virtual or in-person, and an in-depth project to complete.  

The higher belts might also come with a higher cost, and there might be a separate fee for the exam. Research all costs, including any potential discounts, before picking a course. 

Is There an Official Six Sigma Certification?

There is no official Six Sigma Certification. Despite some organizations claiming to be the official standard for Six Sigma certification or accreditation, there is no official body governing companies offering certification. Some of those fake "official" organizations try to steer consumers away from legitimate Six Sigma certification providers. 

However, two organizations in particular are recognized as the closest thing to regulation in this industry. One is the American Society for Quality (ASQ), a globally-recognized company offering training and certification according to industry standards—as well as a certification verification registry. The second is the International Association of Six Sigma Certification (IASSC), which provides accredited courses for Lean Six Sigma.  

Are Six Sigma Certifications Worth It?

Not only does having a Six Sigma certification look great on the resume, but it can also help you earn more money. A study published by the American Society for Quality shows Six Sigma-certified professionals earn more money per year compared to other employees—an average of $16,411 per year for any Belt, and up to $26,123 more if you have a Master Black Belt.

How Long Does It Take to Get Six Sigma Certification?

Taking into account the classwork, any project work, and studying for and taking the exam, most Six Sigma certifications take around six months to complete. However, some Six Sigma training and certification providers don’t require projects at all, and students can complete their training in a few hours and then take the exam. 

Methodology

We evaluated 36 different Six Sigma certification providers and narrowed them down to the best options based on several features and considerations. We assessed course flexibility, costs, global recognition, and company reputation. Reviews of customer service, success rates, and quality of training also weighed heavily into our decision—the certification process should be a pleasant experience for students while giving them tools to implement in the real world. 

All of our picks have robust course offerings, reasonable price points, and a great reputation for helping students achieve their Six Sigma certification upon taking the exam the first time.

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