Scrum Master Salary and Career: 5 Important Things to Know

Scrum masters have one of the most important roles in tech, at least within those companies that practice Scrum and Agile. In simplest terms, professionals in this role ensure that their team is following the Scrum framework, whether that means removing roadblocks or simply coaching the project owners through what needs to be done next in the sprint. Scrum masters are often the project’s manager or team lead, although they don’t necessarily need to have that formal role. 

Scrum is meant to be a relatively lightweight process, centered around small teams. Scrum masters must become experts at breaking down complex projects into increments that teams can tackle during sprints. They must also become comfortable with speed and adapting quickly to changing circumstances. 

Are Scrum masters in demand? 

According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, Scrum master is a skill-set in fairly strong demand, with 65,915 job postings nationwide over the past 12 months. 

Scrum skills are particularly valuable in a number of technologist positions, particularly IT project manager. The reason for this is pretty clear: Companies always prize technologists who can utilize Agile to effectively guide teams and deliver on project deliverables. 

Is Scrum master a dying career?  

Burning Glass predicts that demand for Scrum masters will increase 37.9 percent over the next decade. In other words, it’s not a dying career—after all, there will always be teams to manage. 

What is this role’s starting salary?

Scrum masters with between zero and two years of experience can make a median salary of $101,000 per year, which is quite a lot. However, even those who are just kicking off their Scrum careers are expected to have mastered a set of core skills, including the principles of project management and software development, as well as Agile. Knowledge of tools such as Atlassian JIRA is also key.

For new Scrum masters, the learning curve can often prove quite steep. If you’ve worked in another technologist role before jumping to a job as a project manager and/or Scrum master, chances are good that you’ve participated in enough projects (complete with daily standups, etc.) to give you a sense of what your new management role entails. That being said, management always comes with its own challenges and nuances; prepare to learn as much as you can as quickly as you can.  

What is a Scrum master’s average salary?  

According to Burning Glass, a Scrum master makes a median salary of $111,000 per year. Those with more than nine years of experience can pull down salaries of $136,000 or more—and that’s before you throw in company-specific perks such as bonuses and stock equity

Overall, average technologist salaries in the U.S. increased 3.6 percent between 2019 and 2020, reaching $97,859, according to the latest Dice Salary Report. That’s really good, especially when you consider how many businesses tightened up their budgets and hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s clear, though, that many Scrum masters and project managers make well above this “average” technologist salary, making it a potentially lucrative profession to explore. 

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Related Scrum Master Jobs Resources:

Scrum Master Salary

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Scrum Master Job Description

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