what is a scrum master?

As a scrum master, you oversee the development and scrum teams. Your knowledge of the Agile methodology and Scrum framework helps you coach and educate others. Scrum is an innovative project management methodology and a subset of Agile methods. In Scrum methodology, creative teams work on projects in steps and release products or updates in small increments. As a scrum master, you are not just a leader but a coach who ensures high productivity and fast project turnovers.

Since you mainly work on projects with undefined solutions, the process involves a lot of back-and-forth feedback from clients and users. That means you guide scrum teams in iterative sprints, enabling them to handle various operating parts of the project and speed up production. Initially, scrum masters only worked with software development teams in which the needs of users and product features change frequently. Nowadays, you can work in any industry that deals with short timelines and multiple projects. For instance, you can work for a manufacturing, marketing or consulting agency.

As a scrum master, you require exceptional interpersonal skills since you act as the coach of your team. Communication skills are also useful in engaging teams and helping navigate obstacles during the project.

Would working as a scrum master suit your active listening and interpersonal skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a scrum master role.

scrum master roles

average scrum master salary

According to Job Bank, a scrum master receives an average salary of $124,837 per year or $64.02 hourly. Due to the high demand for the role, even entry-level positions attract high salaries. When you first start, you earn $123,020 per year. As you improve your skills and experience, your remuneration increases up to $132,954 annually.

how to increase your earnings as the scrum master

As a scrum master, your salary depends on qualifications, skills and experience. When you are new to the role, you are likely to take home a lower salary due to having minimal expertise. However, improving your qualifications and experience boosts your skills, so you can negotiate a higher salary.

The industry you work in and the projects you manage also influence your earnings. When you are in charge of multiple project teams, your responsibilities double up, increasing your earning potential. Complex projects require additional expertise and pay more than smaller projects. Working in technology or software development also has higher earning potential.

The location can also affect your earning potential. For instance, scrum masters working in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario have higher salaries compared to other regions, such as British Columbia.

download our salary guide

types of scrum masters

The type of scrum master depends on the level of certifications. Some of them include:

  • certified scrum masters: when you want to move into a scrum master role, take up a certification to help you understand the scrum framework. Certification shows you understand and can implement the scrum framework in the workplace.
  • professional scrum masters: as a professional scrum master, you have the initial certification and a fundamental understanding of scrum principles. You can manage large development teams.
Man and woman having a meeting
Man and woman having a meeting

working as a scrum master

If you enjoy managing teams and projects, consider becoming a scrum master. Here are the tasks and work environments of scrum masters.


scrum master skills and education

There are no educational requirements for scrum masters, but you require prior knowledge of the scrum process. Some of the routes to becoming a scrum master include:

  • scrum certification course: the first step to becoming a scrum master is understanding the Agile methodology. Learn about the scrum framework to gain foundational knowledge. Check out the resources on the Scrum Alliance. When you have a certification, you can seek internship opportunities.
  • experience: as a scrum master, you require experience working in scrum teams. The knowledge you gain helps you supervise other workers in the scrum teams.

competencies and characteristics of scrum masters

Some of the skills of scrum masters include:

  • interpersonal skills: as a scrum master, you require exceptional interpersonal skills. You are responsible for guiding and coaching the scrum team. Hence, your communication skills help you coach team members to navigate obstacles at work. You also require active listing skills to engage with the workers.
  • adaptability: as a scrum master, you work in diverse environments. It is crucial to be adaptive to the changing work environments. Your flexibility also helps you handle various obstacles when working on projects.
  • emotional intelligence: as a scrum master, emotional intelligence helps you understand the emotions of those around you. Your ability to manage your emotions during conflicts can positively impact your development team.
  • influential: as a scrum master, you guide multiple teams toward completing sprints or projects. For instance, you ensure the team achieves specific milestones and deliverables. Your ability to motivate stakeholders and multiple groups helps you manage the progress of the projects. You also have strong leadership skills since you guide other team members.
  • observation skills: as a scrum master, you are in charge of a development team. You should pay attention to team members' challenges during the project. Your observation skills also help you understand each team member's contribution in sprint sessions.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a scrum master.


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