What is the first thing you think of when you encounter the term scrum? Do you think of rugby players packed together, heads down, trying to gain possession of the ball? Or rather, do you think of something a bit less aggressive, like a project management methodology?

If you’re here for sports, you’re out of luck. But if you want to know all about Scrum Masters, specifically career opportunities, a typical Scrum Master salary, and the best places to start your career, then you have come to the right place!

Let’s dive into the world of Scrum Master, starting with what one is.

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What Is a ScrumMaster?

Before you understand what a ScrumMaster is, you need to know what Scrum is, and what better definition than the one provided by the developers themselves? According to the site, “Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”

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Consequently, the same source tells us that a ScrumMaster “…is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum. ScrumMasters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values. The ScrumMaster is a servant-leader for the scrum team. The ScrumMaster helps those outside the scrum team understand which of their interactions with the scrum team are helpful and which aren’t.”

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a ScrumMaster?

Think of the ScrumMaster as the team’s coach and cheerleader rolled up into one. ScrumMasters serve three different groups. Those responsibilities are to:

  1. The Product Owners

    Make sure that the scrum team understands the scope, goals, and product domain, while also seeing that the product owners know how to maximize product backlog.
  2. The Development Team

    Teach the team the disciplines of agile practices, cross-functionality, and self-organization, while helping them to create excellent products. The ScrumMaster also does its best to resolve any obstacles or issues that may hinder the team (e.g. team conflict, miscommunication).
  3. The Organization

    Take the lead in helping the organization adopt Scrum techniques while planning its implementation. This includes assisting all parties concerned to understand Scrum, especially if this is a brand-new concept for the stakeholders and other employees.

ScrumMasters are also responsible for facilitating Scrum events within the organization; this responsibility applies to all groups.

How Do You Become a ScrumMaster?

With all of the responsibilities on a ScrumMaster’s shoulders, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that the road to becoming a ScrumMaster is a long and difficult one. Fortunately, that’s not the case; it’s actually not that difficult.

However, it indeed takes a specific personality type with a particular set of soft skills to become an effective ScrumMaster. Good ScrumMasters:

  • Can communicate well
  • Are outgoing
  • Are good leaders, not afraid of taking charge and rallying the team
  • Are self-motivated
  • Can be diplomatic, especially with non-team people
  • Enjoy solving problems

You can start your ScrumMaster training by familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals of Scrum. A simple search engine check reveals a multitude of online resources that can give you the basics.

Once you feel that you have a good grasp of what Scrum is all about, you will be ready to take the Certified ScrumMaster Certification training course. The training is a two-day course that prepares you for certification. Incidentally, this course is also an excellent way for professionals to upskill. It never hurts to increase your skill set, as the investment of time and resources will yield far higher returns.

After you pass the course, register for and take the CSM exam. When you pass it, congratulations, you’ve done it! Learn more about how to become a Certified ScrumMaster.

This infographic sums up the roadmap nicely as well.

What’s the Demand for ScrumMasters?

The ScrumMaster Trends Report released by Scrum.org and Age of Product indicates that the role of ScrumMaster is becoming more significant and widespread. The report also points out that certification is a crucial element for a successful Scrum Master. Most Scrum Masters hired are trained, have certification, and are paid more than their untrained, non-certified counterparts. Considering how some companies will even compensate you for work-related education, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take a certification training course.

While there’s still a small percentage of organizations out there that are adopting the waterfall method, there are more using the Agile method, which of course factors into Scrum.

What Are the Different Types of ScrumMaster Career Paths Available?

There’s no reason for being content as a ScrumMaster indefinitely. As, there are several career paths you can take to raise your professional life to the next level.

  • Agile Coach 

    Agile coaches facilitate the implementation of Scrum and Agile together. Consider it a specialized, focused variety of ScrumMaster.
  • Mentor 

    Once you’ve mastered scrum methodology and have logged a few years’ worth of experience as a ScrumMaster, consider becoming a teacher. After all, larger organizations and businesses have more than one scrum team, so that they will need more than one ScrumMaster. Mentors teach others how to become ScrumMasters.
  • Manager 

    You can even move away from Scrum altogether and try for a manager position. After all, a good manager knows how to lead people and has a good understanding of the organization. Who better to do these things than a former ScrumMaster?

There are more possibilities, limited only by your imagination and ambition. Any profession that requires people skills, leadership, and technical understanding of some sort would be ideal for the ScrumMaster who wants to move on.

Speaking of moving, where in the world are these jobs that pay so well? Now that you mention it:

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What Does a Scrum Master Salary Look Like in Different Countries?

Unsurprisingly, not every country pays the same; we need to factor in variables such as the nation’s overall state of the economy and demand for Scrum Masters. That’s why there will be differences between a Scrum Master salary in India compared to a Scrum Master salary in the UK.

 It’s interesting to note, however, that according to this report, women are surpassing men in terms of salary. Although only 29 percent of the survey respondents were women, there were more women than men in the higher salary ranges.

The average salary of a Certified Scrum Master ranges from $82,357 to $104,950 annually. 

Here is a sample of annual average Scrum Master salaries, focusing on the more popular markets. The figures come courtesy of Glassdoor. Note that there can be a variance depending on geographical location, the experience level of the applicant, and company size:

  • United States: $99,492
  • Singapore: SGD 81,000
  • Australia: A$120K
  • United Kingdom: £54,172
  • Canada: CA$90K
  • New Zealand: NZ$114K
  • South Africa: ZAR 41K (monthly)
  • China: ¥ 16K (monthly)
  • India: ₹1,304K

As Scrum’s acceptance continues to grow, we will see more countries added to the list.

In addition to geography, candidates should take experience into consideration. For example, an entry level Scrum Master job pays an average of $101,087 per year, according to Glassdoor.com, while a Senior Scrum Master salary runs about $117,062 annually.

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What Industries Use ScrumMasters, and Which Pay Better?

Some industries need Scrum Masters more than others. Naturally, the IT industry is the prime Scrum user, but other sectors are coming around as well. Like the salaries above, these details aren’t absolute and may vary depending on the economy, overall demand, and other factors. However, it’s a reasonably good sampling. Also, be aware that an entry level Scrum Master salary could vary greatly from a senior level Scrum Master salary.

More industries may jump on the Scrum bandwagon as the methodology continues to yield good results.

  • Financial services (insurance, retirement planning, investment firms)
  • Product development (light manufacturing, heavy industry)
  • Construction (contractors)
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Consulting firms
  • Government offices
  • Disrupters (Airbnb, Uber)

In terms of payment, the financial sector dominates the field, with product owners able to earn approximately $149K a year. The insurance industry offers product owners up to $136K annually, while telecommunications offers $125K a year. The computer industry, where Scrum first came into being, has similarly high salaries, as evidenced by Apple’s project manager opportunities coming in at around $145K a year.

Are you prepared enough to be certified as a ScrumMaster? Well, try answering these CSM Practice Exam Questions and find out now!

Want to Learn More About Becoming a ScrumMaster?

If all of this scrum talk has gotten you interested in pursuing it as a career (or upskilling, if you’re already involved in Agile or other collaboration methodologies), Simplilearn has the tools you need.

The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Certification Training is a two-day course that gives you a thorough overview of Scrum’s framework for agile project management and prepares you to earn your ScrumMaster Certification. You will gain a solid understanding of Scrum’s basics, its lifecycle, how to put together a scrum team, and how to initiate a project. You will also learn how to implement a scrum, ranging from initial releases and sprints all the way to enterprise transformation. It also includes the exam fee.

Additionally, the Agile ScrumMaster Training Course introduces you to Agile’s best practices and the nuances of the Scrum methodology. Master the agile Scrum project management approach and enhance your ability to develop and deliver quality products to customers.

Take one course, or take both. These courses will help expedite your journey in achieving a ScrumMaster Certification, and all of the benefits it offers. Check out Simplilearn today!

About the Author

Karin KelleyKarin Kelley

Karin has spent more than a decade writing about emerging enterprise and cloud technologies. A passionate and lifelong researcher, learner, and writer, Karin is also a big fan of the outdoors, music, literature, and environmental and social sustainability.

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