In a list that will surprise few people who work with Six Sigma, many of the best jobs in the United States recently ranked by Indeed are related to the process improvement methodology.

And even those that are not directly tied to Lean or Six Sigma jobs are still in industries where the methodology is increasingly put into play to make operations more efficient.

Indeed, the online jobs website, looked at two main factors in ranking the best jobs of 2018. The first is salary. They only considered jobs with a baseline salary of at least $75,000. The second factor was the rate of increase in the number of job openings in the profession as posted on Indeed since 2014.

The list includes the following.

Project Manager

Project manager sits atop the list, with an average base salary of $81,023. There has been a staggering 277% growth rate in job listings for project managers since 2014. That’s no surprise, given the recent report from the Project Management Institute indicating a rising, global demand for project managers as well as increased salaries.

That salary increase proved especially significant for those with certification in process improvement methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma.

Preconstruction Manager

As with everything in the construction business, there are ties with project management and process improvement methodologies. Six Sigma often is used in industries such as construction that are customer-focused, such as in this recent example.

Preconstruction managers are project managers who oversee a project from design to implementation. They ensure a project meets all the client’s requirements. They earn an average base salary of $95,337, according to Indeed. There has been a 126% increase in the number of job listings for preconstruction managers since 2014.

Data Scientist

What does this have to do with Six Sigma? Essentially, the typical uses of data science are the same approaches used in process improvement. You could argue that data science is essentially a new extension of process improvement. Processes are defined and measured, improvements are developed and changes implemented, and the results are measured to determine the level of success (or not). That’s much like the process used in data-driven Six Sigma and Lean. Many have made that connection.

Data scientists make a base salary of $132,915, according to Indeed. The number of job listings have increased 106% since 2014.

Agile Coach

Agile is a process improvement methodology developed in the software industry. The goal is to get quality products to consumers as quickly as possible. The focus is on cutting the waste of project development. That’s the same focus as Lean. Some case studies have argued that the two can work together to make even more improvements to a process.

Agile coaches are in high demand, particularly in the highly competitive software industry. They make a base salary of $120,142. The number of job postings for agile coaches has increased 113%.

Healthcare Industry And Six Sigma

Many of the industries that include the fastest growing jobs, such as software and construction, are heavy into project management and the implementation of process improvement strategies such as Lean and Six Sigma.

Another is healthcare. An aging U.S. population is driving massive growth in healthcare and, therefore, some of the fastest growing jobs are in healthcare. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that healthcare is expected to add four million jobs by 2026.

Project managers and Six Sigma-trained professionals are increasingly in demand in healthcare. Part of the reason is the need for a change of culture in an industry that, up until recent years, had operated in much the same way for decades. Also, the implementation of new technology has driven the need for process improvement professionals.

In some cases, hospitals have trained the entire staff as Six Sigma Yellow Belts. Others are putting Lean and Six Sigma to use in optimizing supply chains and in leveraging Big Data.

Training in Six Sigma can prove beneficial to anyone who works in the above jobs or within these specific industries. As competition increases and awareness of process improvement strategy grows, expect certification in Lean and Six Sigma to become more popular than ever.

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