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Become A Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt

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Working As A Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $75,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become A Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.

Education

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Advancement

Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Do you work as a Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt?

Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Jobs

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Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Career Paths

Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt
Operations Director Senior Technician Specialist Production Manager
Continuous Improvement Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Manager Global Director
Director Global Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Operations Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Continuous Improvement
14 Yearsyrs
Plant Manager Sales Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Plant Manager Facilities Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Strategic Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Quality Assurance Quality Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Chief Executive Officer Specialist
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Operations Director
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Quality Manager
Process Improvement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Product Developer Product Manager
Product Line Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Director Management Consultant Product Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Operations Director
Senior Director, Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Program Director General Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Director
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Marketing Director General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Technical Director Vice President, Technology
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt?

Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Demographics

Gender

Male

70.2%

Female

27.2%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

77.0%

Asian

11.0%

Hispanic or Latino

8.9%

Unknown

2.0%

Black or African American

1.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.3%

German

12.1%

French

9.1%

Mandarin

6.1%

Russian

4.5%

Chinese

4.5%

Hindi

3.0%

Dutch

3.0%

Italian

3.0%

Portuguese

3.0%

Japanese

3.0%

Dakota

3.0%

Swedish

1.5%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Korean

1.5%

Tamil

1.5%

Greek

1.5%

Carrier

1.5%

Croatian

1.5%

Czech

1.5%
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Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.2%

Purdue University

10.0%

Ohio State University

6.1%

Bradley University

5.2%

Michigan State University

4.8%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.8%

Case Western Reserve University

4.4%

Northwestern University

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

Northern Illinois University

3.9%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.5%

Villanova University

3.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.5%

Tennessee Technological University

3.5%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.5%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.5%

Drexel University

3.5%

Xavier University

3.1%

Webster University

3.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.1%
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Majors

Business

38.2%

Mechanical Engineering

8.5%

Management

7.0%

Industrial Engineering

6.6%

Finance

5.4%

Chemical Engineering

5.0%

Electrical Engineering

3.6%

Project Management

3.5%

Marketing

3.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.4%

Industrial Technology

2.3%

Manufacturing Engineering

2.0%

Operations Management

1.9%

Computer Science

1.7%

Accounting

1.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.6%

Communication

1.4%

Human Resources Management

1.4%

Supply Chain Management

1.4%

Information Technology

1.4%
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Degrees

Masters

48.1%

Bachelors

37.7%

Other

7.9%

Certificate

2.6%

Doctorate

1.9%

Associate

1.5%

Diploma

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Real Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SIX Sigma Black Belt 2 Solar Turbines Incorporated San Diego, CA Sep 14, 2013 $118,239
SIX Sigma Black Belt Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Jan 16, 2012 $115,000
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Baker Hughes Incorporated The Woodlands, TX Dec 03, 2013 $114,000
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt VOYA Services Company Windsor, CT Oct 01, 2015 $113,000
6 Sigma Black Belt Caterpillar Inc. Joliet, IL Dec 19, 2015 $112,008
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Walton, KY Jul 04, 2013 $108,742 -
$125,100
Black Belt, Lean SIX Sigma Sutter Health East Bay Region Oakland, CA Jul 16, 2012 $105,000
Lean SIX Sigma Champion Schlumberger Technology Corporation Sugar Land, TX Dec 10, 2014 $104,910
6 Sigma Black Belt II (Order To Delivery) Caterpillar Inc. East Peoria, IL May 23, 2016 $104,790 -
$149,076
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt, Quality-Process Improvement Froedtert Health, Inc. Milwaukee, WI Apr 18, 2016 $102,263
SIX Sigma Black Belt Ing North America Insurance Corporation Windsor, CT Sep 02, 2014 $102,000
6 Sigma Engineering Black Belt Caterpillar Inc. Joliet, IL Sep 27, 2016 $101,700
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Aug 09, 2011 $99,200 -
$121,800
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Cameron International Corporation Waller, TX May 20, 2016 $84,870
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Cameron International Corporation Waller, TX Sep 14, 2016 $84,870
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Jun 01, 2012 $83,600 -
$103,000
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Jan 01, 2015 $82,100 -
$99,800
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Emission Solutions Inc. Columbus, IN Dec 01, 2014 $82,100 -
$99,800
SIX Sigma Black Belt Nelson Global Products, Inc. Stoughton, WI Feb 17, 2014 $80,400
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Shoreview, MN Jul 21, 2014 $74,300 -
$95,200
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Aug 04, 2011 $73,900 -
$90,600
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Sep 03, 2015 $72,883 -
$84,700
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Aug 02, 2011 $72,571 -
$81,400
SIX Sigma Black Belt Cummins Inc. Memphis, TN Dec 08, 2012 $72,200 -
$92,100

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Top Skills for A Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt

SigmaDmaicSigmaProjectsContinuousImprovementProjectsKaizenEventsProcessImprovementProjectsSigmaToolsSigmaMethodologyProjectManagementValueStreamBusinessStrategyAnnualCostSavingsSafetyBusinessUnitDfssCostReductionCustomerSatisfactionLogisticsLean/SixSigmaSupplierCriticalBusinessProcesses

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  1. Sigma Dmaic
  2. Sigma Projects
  3. Continuous Improvement Projects
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Led the development of the Organizational Change Management training material that was added to the Enterprise-wide 6 Sigma DMAIC training.
  • Mentored Global Sourcing personnel during identification, development, and implementation of Six Sigma projects.
  • Completed two continuous improvement projects in first year while working on three others.
  • Recognized lean expert, leading/mentoring multiple kaizen events for value-stream mapping, waste identification, and process flow improvement.
  • Facilitated and instructed Six Sigma Green Belt classes, including individual process improvement projects and certification.

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