Lean Six Sigma Certification: Your 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Discover the benefits of getting Lean Six Sigma certified, the different certification levels, organizations that offer this credential, and how to get started.

[Featured Image] A Lean Six Sigma-certified professional stands at a conference table and addresses their team.

What is Lean Six Sigma certification? 

Lean Six Sigma certification is a credential that shows someone’s skills and proficiency in the Lean Six Sigma methodology. Like Six Sigma, the Lean Six Sigma framework improves an organization’s processes, decision-making, and operational efficiency while reducing waste and cost. The overall goal of implementing Lean Six Sigma processes is to offer value to the customer. 

You can earn a certification in Lean Six Sigma at different levels of expertise, called “belts:”

  • Lean Six Sigma White Belt certification

  • Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification

  • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification

  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification

  • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification

Lean Six Sigma vs Six Sigma

The main differences between Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma are:

Six Sigma is a rigorous and detailed methodology that uses data and statistical analysis to improve organizational performance, while Lean Six Sigma is focused on reducing waste and improving customer experience. 


Lean Six Sigma has typically been used in manufacturing, especially the automotive industry, but this methodology can improve processes across industries and job functions, including health care, finance, education, sales, IT, human resources, and marketing. 

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of this credential, details for each Lean Six Sigma belt, and how to begin your certification journey. 

Benefits of Lean Six Sigma certification 

Getting Lean Six Sigma certified offers you several benefits in today’s competitive business landscape. If you’re considering getting certified, knowing these benefits can help you make an empowered decision. 

Build skills.

Going through a certification program for Lean Six Sigma can be a great opportunity to build skills to enhance your job performance in a variety of roles, including: 

Coursera Plus
Build job-ready skills with a Coursera Plus subscription
  • Get access to 7,000+ learning programs from world-class universities and companies, including Google, Yale, Salesforce, and more
  • Try different courses and find your best fit at no additional cost
  • Earn certificates for learning programs you complete
  • A subscription price of $59/month, cancel anytime

Qualify for jobs.

The Lean Six Sigma methodology can boost your performance in a variety of roles. When researching career opportunities, read job descriptions carefully for mentions of Lean Six Sigma skills and certifications. 

Here’s a list of job titles you might come across in your search:

  • Quality control technician

  • Quality manager/engineer

  • Production supervisor

  • Director of quality improvement and organizational excellence

  • Manufacturing engineer

  • Mechanical engineer

  • Director of engineering and new product development 

  • Process engineer

Get employers’ attention.

With this credential, you can improve your resume and become a more attractive job candidate. Lean Six Sigma certification signals your understanding of process improvement methodologies and leadership potential, which may catch the attention of employers. 

Increase your earning potential.

According to PayScale, the average annual base pay for Lean Six Sigma-certified professionals in the US is $92,000 [1]. Keep in mind that several factors may determine your earning potential, including location, experience, and industry demand. Getting certified at different belt levels can also affect your earning potential. 

Lean Six Sigma certification levels 

You can earn a certification in Lean Six Sigma at different levels of expertise, called belts. In the table below, we outline what each belt entails, the Lean Six Sigma certification cost for each belt, and who it’s for, using information from the Council for Six Sigma Certification, the official industry standard for this accreditation.

Belt levelWhat it demonstratesExam (only) fee*
White BeltUnderstands of the basics of Six Sigma, definition, history, structure, and rolesFree
Yellow BeltUnderstands the methodology, can participate as a core project team member, and develop process maps$99
Green BeltHas problem-solving skills, can work on defined projects, and serve as trained team member$159
Black BeltHas thorough understanding of this methodology, can lead teams, and assign roles and responsibilities$229
Master Black BeltIs an expert in this methodology and in team leadership, can quickly identify “non-value-added” activities$665

*A self-paced exam option is also available and includes the White, Yellow, Green, and Black belts. For $349, you’ll be able to access the self-paced study guide and take the certification exams for each belt as you progress. 

Where to get Lean Six Sigma certification

In your research on this credential, you might come across several certifying organizations. Below, we’ve listed Lean Six Sigma organizations, including the Council for Six Sigma Certification, that are industry recognized and offer certification at the different belt levels. We also list details that distinguish each organization. Use this as a guide for choosing which organization to earn your credential from. 

The Council for Six Sigma Certification

The Council for Six Sigma Certification is considered the industry standard for Six Sigma. In addition to certifying people at the belt levels—White Belt through Master Black Belt—the Council for Six Sigma Certification offers project-based certifications with no exam component. These are designed to evaluate your proficiency in executing the Lean Six Sigma method in a real-world scenario. These include: 


Lean Six Sigma certification through this organization starts with the basics of Six Sigma at the different belt levels. The Lean-specific training programs that 6Sigma.us offers include:

These programs are conducted in person, online, and onsite to meet your needs. 

International Association for Six Sigma (IASSC)

The International Association for Six Sigma (IASSC) offers Yellow Belt, Green Belt, and Black Belt certifications in Lean Six Sigma, as well as advanced Lean credentials: 

You can take an IASSC certification exam online or at a professional testing center. 

Six Sigma Global Institute

In addition to the Yellow, Green, Black, and Master Black belts, the Six Sigma Global Institute offers “Professional Career Track Certification Bundles” that exhibit your expert status in Agile, health care, project management, Scrum, corporate training, and consulting.

How to get Lean Six Sigma certification

Here are some actions to take to get the most out of your Lean Six Sigma certification journey: 

Choose a certifying organization.

Using the section above as a guide, decide which certifying organization will best serve you in your Lean Six Sigma career. Some factors to consider include the cost of getting certified by the different organizations, their reputation and accreditation, and how they format the training and exams. 

Choose a belt level. 

Using the table above, choose the belt level best suited to your goals. You might find it helpful to review job descriptions for roles you’re interested in to see which belt level employers list as a required or preferred qualification. In addition, consider which of the belt levels best aligns with your overall career goals.

Enroll in a training program. 

To prepare for a certification exam, it’s a good idea to enroll in a Lean Six Sigma training program. You can train through the certifying organizations explored above or find a separate training program. 

While you can build Lean Six Sigma skills on your own, enrolling in a formal Lean Six Sigma training program may offer some advantages, such as learning in a logical, structured way and gaining access to material you are likely to be tested on in a certification exam. 

Pass the certification exam. 

To obtain your Lean Six Sigma credential, you’ll need to pass the exam administered by the certification organization. Exams typically test your knowledge of the concepts, tools, and methodologies that pertain to the belt level. Before sitting for the exam, be sure to familiarize yourself with the exam format, duration, passing score, retake policies, and requirements for maintaining your certification over time. 

Interested in Six Sigma Certification? Read our guide here


Explore Lean Six Sigma with Coursera

Taking online courses can be a great way to prepare for certification in Lean Six Sigma and discover what this field is all about. Coursera offers a variety of courses on Lean and Six Sigma to meet your needs. Explore the options below: 

Article sources

  1. Payscale. “Salary for Certification: Lean Six Sigma Certification, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Certification=Lean_Six_Sigma_Certification/Salary.” Accessed January 29, 2024. 

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.