Promising Careers in Lean Six Sigma

If you’re looking for a job – any job – in the Six Sigma field, stop and look elsewhere.

If you’re looking for a career – a real Six Sigma career – then by all means aim high! When you do find a position that will enable you to apply Lean Six Sigma principles and be part of a waste elimination team, it will be an emotionally satisfying experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s the public or private sector because the essence of Lean Six Sigma is fundamentally the same everywhere. Aspects of it may be modified to suit the environment you’re in because flexibility is the hallmark of Six Sigma. What does matter more is you’re finally going to be able to make a worthwhile contribution to the collective entrepreneurial spirit of an organization characterized by zero waste, minimal interruptions, no repeated tasks, and no futile mobilization of resources.

We’ll mention some of the jobs calling for Lean Six Sigma competence. In one job site, we typed “Six Sigma” on the search box and we received over 6,000 results. In fact, to be exact, at the time of our search (May 8, 2008 in the evening), there were Six Sigma 6,785 jobs begging to be filled. From those 6,785 jobs, what kind of positions were available? The list ran the whole gamut of design engineers/consultants, Black Belts, directors, quality managers, operational excellence managers, regional deployment leader, rotating equipment engineers and many others.

Want to know what it takes? Out of curiosity, we clicked on one entry posted by a health care facility in Milwaukee calling for Six Sigma Black Belt candidates. They are looking for someone who can facilitate quality assessment and improvement efforts using Six Sigma tools and were looking for a certified Black Belt. The ad also said that the candidate must be able to promote change, be an effective project manager and must demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Six Sigma Positions in Manufacturing

We did a second search and this time narrowed our choice to the manufacturing sector. There were 13 results obtained on May 8, 2008 at 8:50 pm: the positions ranged from manufacturing operational excellence leader (Six Sigma certified) to manager for MMD external manufacturing, and to quality and mechanical engineer. Some of the job locations mentioned were Latrobe, PA, Whitehouse Station in New Jersey and Joliet, IL.

Note that we performed a job search using only two sites. There are many other job sites you can search. You can also contact a whole slew of headhunters in your city who have received requests for Lean Six Sigma candidates from clients.

Our observation is that if you wish to be considered for a Black Belt position, you must either possess experience as a Black Belt, are certified, or at least willing to be certified after training.

Foreign Jobs

One industry that has witnessed an increasing demand for Six Sigma skills is the Information Technology (IT) sector. If we take a look at the UK, the average starting salary ranges from 52,000 to 57,000 Euros (roughly US$80,000.00 to 87,000.00).

IT Jobs Watch of the UK had various statistics on Six Sigma job trends, and it reported that in addition to a demand for Six Sigma skills, the following skills were also sought: finance, project management, quality management, manufacturing experience, telecom skills and others. As for job titles, you have Six Sigma Black Belt, Project Manager, Analyst, Process Consultant, Business Consultant, Change Manager, QA Analyst, and many others.

We subscribed to Google News Alerts for Lean Six Sigma and a job notice from a multinational company in Ireland landed in our mailbox this morning. The role as described was to

  • develop and deploy an operational excellence program with special emphasis on the deployment of Lean Six Sigma,
  • contribute to the broader corporate LSS program and operational excellence community,
  • lead high impact projects using LSS methodologies,
  • develop LSS training programs, and
  • promote the LSS program

Company Culture

If you’re passionate about Six Sigma and truly believe in its principles so that you’re anxious and ready to “get your hands dirty”, ask yourself a few questions before accepting a job offer to avoid any disappointments.

  • Does the company rigorously apply Lean Six Sigma in its key processes or do they do it only when time and money permit?
  • How many certified Six Sigma Black Belts and Green Belts do they have?  Does the number increase every year, or has it been the same for some time now?
  • Does management – beginning with the CEO – participate in meetings and training sessions?
  • Does the company have a manual outlining Lean Six Sigma policies and procedures?
  • Is there a general atmosphere of enthusiasm and vitality among employees?
  • Does the company reward its employees for their competence in Lean Six Sigma?

If the company provides a company tour and encourages you to speak to employees, try to get a feel of how much they are committed to Lean Six Sigma principles and whether they seem prepared to sacrifice their personal gains for the collective good. Do you get the feeling that there is some waste – not only in terms of money and materials but also in time and human effort?  Is there are a lot of repetition work on the factory floor? Are the machines and operators idle at certain times of the day? Is there a genuine team spirit among those at corporate and in the production site?

Considering the number of jobs available locally and internationally, your university training and the LSS skills you possess, you can certainly afford to take your time and weigh your options. You don’t want just a job, you want a true Six Sigma career worthy of praise!

Peter Peterka is the President of 6Sigma.us. For information on Six Sigma trainingSix Sigma Certification or Master Black Belt programs contact Peter Peterka.

Author: Peter Peterka Google

Published 09/3/2008

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