Why Do Scrum Masters Get Paid so Much?

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Last updated on
02nd Jun, 2022
Published
10th May, 2019
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Why Do Scrum Masters Get Paid so Much?

While the pandemic has put the world economy into a tailspin, there are some career paths that have seen an unprecedented increased in demand. Even as employment uncertainties are the new norm in the post Covid environment, a career after Scrum Master Certification has never been more sought after. Scrum Masters are in demand for their ability to navigate the waters of a volatile economy that presents emergent requirements on a daily basis. And Scrum Masters who are able to prove their expertise are paid top dollar by leading organizations worldwide. 

Companies all over the world are hiring Certified ScrumMasters as they are proven to deliver on challenging tasks faced by Agile teams. They have consistently shown that they can address complex issues that may crop up during the course of an Agile project, and are able to steer the tasks through to completion on time and within budget. CSMs have demonstrated, time and again, that they are well worth the high salaries paid. 

Survey Result 

A salary survey conducted by ‘Age of Product’ (Stephen Wolpers and Sumit Mehta) in 2017, included Scrum Masters from 13 countries around the world. The salary of a Certified ScrumMaster varies from country to country. 

Tabulated below are the annual salary ranges for three important countries: 

US: $100,001 – $125,000
UK: $60,001 - $70,000
India: $20,001 – $30,000

The monthly income of a Certified Scrum Master can be listed as follows-

US: $8333 – $10416
UK: $5000 – $5833
India: $1667 - $2500

The weekly income of a Certified ScrumMaster, assuming 52 weeks for a year, is as given below:

US: $1923 – $2403
UK: $1154 – $1346
India: $384 - $577

The hourly salary of Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is:

US: $48 – $60
UK: $29 – $34
India: $9.6 – $14

The diagrammatic representation of the above data is as shown below:-

Salary range of CSM

Note: The figures mentioned here are in USD.

 Additional compensations for this job

 The certified scrum master can get additional compensations if he/she can take up a training for the community or get further certified in the line of his/her career.

 Companywise Salary Listing

Here are some of the average salaries paid by the top companies to the certified Scrum Masters:

  • TCS: 11,11,500/year
  • IBM: 16,07,000/year
  • Amdocs: 14,00,000/year
  • JP Morgan: 16,52,000/year

CSM salaries by top companies

Why do scrum masters get paid so much?

According to Glassdoor, Scrum Masters are among the 25 highest paid professionals in America, and with good reason too! In an era in which the world of software development is in constant flux, the ability to keep everyone connected and communicating face to face is critical. A breakdown in communications leads to a breakdown in software. And a breakdown in software leads to a breakdown of the business.  

As companies are moving more towards Agile ways of working, they have realized that Scrum Master is the core role in making the team productive and self -organized and ensuring that the practices of Agile are diligently followed.

Let’s take a look at the job profile and the tasks that a Certified ScrumMaster carries out.

Job Profile of a Certified ScrumMaster

Below are the on-job responsibilities of the Certified Scrum Master (CSM):

Essential Duties:

  • Guiding the team and organization on how to use Agile/Scrum practices and values to delight customers
  • Guiding the team on self-organizing to fill in the intentional gaps left in the Agile/Scrum frameworks
  • Assessing the Scrum Maturity of the team and organization and coaching the team to higher levels of maturity, at a pace that is sustainable and comfortable for the team and organization
  • Removing impediments or guiding the team to remove impediments by finding the right personnel to remove the impediments
  • Building a trusting and safe environment where problems can be raised without fear of blame retribution, or being judged, with an emphasis on healing and problem-solving
  • Facilitating the execution of work without coercion, assigning, or dictating
  • Facilitating discussion, decision making, and conflict resolution
  • Assisting with internal and external communication, improving transparency, and radiating information
  • Supporting and educating the Product Owner, especially on grooming and maintaining the product backlog
  • Providing all support to the team using a servant leadership style whenever possible, and leading by example.

Required Skills/Experience:

  • Experience in playing the Scrum Master role for at least one year for a software development team that was diligently applying Scrum principles, practices, and theory.  (Adjust based on your necessity)
  • Good skills and knowledge of servant leadership, facilitation, situational awareness, conflict resolution, continual improvement, empowerment, and increasing transparency
  • Knowledge of various well-documented patterns and techniques for filling in the intentional gaps left in the Scrum approach (example: numerous Burndown technologies, various Retrospective formats, handling bugs, etc.)
  • Preferred Skills/Experience (Any of these is a plus)
    • Experience is playing the Scrum Master role for at least two years for a software development team that was diligently applying Scrum principles, practices, and theory. (Adjust based on your necessity)
    • Knowledge of other Agile approaches: XP, Kanban, Crystal, FDD, etc.
    • Awareness and experience with widely successful Agile techniques: User Stories, ATDD, TDD, Continuous Integration, Continuous Testing, Pairing, Automated Testing, Agile Games.
    • Applicable knowledge of the technologies used by the team.
  • Excellent communication and mentoring skills.

Tasks of the Certified Scrum Master

  • Helping the Development Team to create high-value products
  • Coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality
  • Removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress
  • Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed
  • Coaching the Development Team in organizational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood
  • Ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team as well as possible
  • Finding techniques for effective Product Backlog management
  • Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items.
  • Understanding product planning in an empirical environment.

The Truth About Job Titles In Scrum

Companies that Prefer to Hire Certified ScrumMasters

According to the Scrum Guides, “Scrum has been adopted by a vast amount of software development companies around the world.” 

Scrum has been used in education, manufacturing, marketing, operations, and other fields. If you have the skills in dealing with conflicts and you are an experienced facilitator, then these are the top companies in the world that hire skilled Scrum Masters like you. According to the latest data on Glassdoor, the top companies looking for expert Scrum Masters are:

  • Answer Financial Inc. – Encino, CA
  • Pegasystems – Cambridge, MA
  • Donnelley Financial Solutions – Glen Mills, PA
  • IntraEdge – Phoenix, AZ
  • Wipro Limited, Bengaluru
  • Zensar Technologies Limited, Hyderabad
  • JP Morgan Chase, Hyderabad
  • Barclays – Pune
  • Orange, Mumbai
  • Fiserv – Pune, and many more

Conclusion

Given the volatile world economy, it is not surprising that Scrum Master salaries are on the rise. Organizations are always keen to hire experienced Scrum Masters who can help to finish projects on time without compromising on quality. Skills of leadership, communications and facilitation help a Scrum Master become a vital cog in the Software development team of any organization. If you’re looking to take the first step on your Scrum Master journey, KnowledgeHut is your go-to training organization that will equip you with the skills you need to get certified.

Practice your skills; check out Scrum interview questions and answers here.

Profile

Mukundan Bashyam

Program/Project Manager

Mukundan Bashyam has more than 15 years of IT experience working in different roles such as Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master(CSM) and Certified Agile Coach from ICAgile. He is an accomplished Agile trainer for many organizations and a contributing author for KnowledgeHut. Mukundan has a Bachelor’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology (BHU)-Varanasi and a Master’s degree in Industrial Management from National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai. He has worked with startups and large companies like Hewlett Packard(HP), Target Corporation India, Diageo, and Robert Bosch.