The Average Salary of Six Sigma Black Belt

Six Sigma black belts plan, design and manage key projects within a corporation
Six Sigma black belts plan, design and manage key projects within a corporation (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The Six Sigma management strategy traces its roots back to the 19th century. The program’s concepts enable corporations to enhance business processes to eliminate errors. In the organizational hierarchy of the Six Sigma Program black belts lead initiatives, interpret analytical results and coach fellow Green Belts. Black belts within the discipline can expect a lucrative salary upon obtaining this rank.


Most black belts possess at least a bachelor’s degree even though a degree is not necessarily required. The majority of black belts hold a master’s degree. To obtain the designation of a black belt, individuals must complete a rigorous training regimen. Courses in Six Sigma are available online and at colleges and universities. It takes approximately one to two years to complete the training for a black belt. Black belt training encompasses lessons for yellow and green belt courses, as well. Completion of a project is mandatory for achieving black belt status.

Average Salary reports that employees with black belt certification have the potential to make more than $100,000 per year if they have 20 or more years of experience. The median income for those with an average of five years experience is $75,000. Consultants, who go on to earn the designation of Master Black Belt or Champion, can earn substantially more. Earnings are dependent on company and project size. Earnings also increase in proportion to the Six Sigma levels that someone reaches. The highest salaries for black belts can be found in the automotive, utilities and consulting industries.

Six Sigma Careers

Black belts are adept at eliminating defects from an organizational process that is the goal of the Six Sigma strategy. Individuals achieving black belt status find success in manufacturing, communications and technology positions. Many Six Sigma professionals strike out on their own and start consulting careers. After completing the Six Sigma certification program, individuals may find job opportunities in their current field. Many employers prefer to hire from within the organization and a Six Sigma certification may be a career booster.

Career Outlook

Villanova notes on its website, that despite a decline in the economy, Six Sigma certified professionals will continue to be in high demand. This is because of an increase in companies looking to streamline operations and improve efficiencies. reports that Six Sigma black belt salaries are on average 47 percent higher than other nationwide job postings. Some top companies for Six Sigma professionals are; Pfizer Inc., Xerox Corp, Ecolab Inc. and Cardinal Health.

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