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Scrum Master Salary in US in 2021

The job role of a Scrum Master started gaining prominence from 1992 onwards when Jeff Sutherland and his team coined the term. From then to now, Scrum Master has established its importance to organizations across the globe and has grown to become one of the higher paying and most promising jobs in the current times. 

In this article, let’s look at a Scrum Master’s salary along with the factors that affect this salary range! 

Factors influencing a Scrum Master’s salary range

Here are some factors that go on to determine your salary as a Scrum Master: 

1. Years of Experience 

This is easily one of the most important criteria that influence the final salary that you’ll draw as a Scrum Master. With experience, the job roles and responsibilities taken by Scrum Master increase, and so does the salary figure. Here are some things that Scrum Masters learn with experience, that influence their salaries: 

  • If you’re aiming to bag a higher-paying Scrum Master job, it’s recommended that you work as a Scrum Master for a minimum of one year and apply different Scrum practices, theories, and principles. 
  • Understanding leadership principles, facilitation, conflict resolution, situational awareness, continual improvement, and more. 

2. Level of Skills and Responsibilities Required for the Job

A Scrum Master’s job isn’t bound to a particular designation. The more experienced you are (and if you have considerable experience working in agile teams), the better idea you’ll have about the latest Scrum strategies around problem-solving. These approaches include XP, Crystal, Kanban, FDD, etc. If the job role requires you to handle multiple tasks using different technologies and strategies, you can expect a higher salary package. 

To get better job opportunities, it is preferred to have knowledge of different successful Agile techniques such as:

  • TDD
  • ATDD
  • Continuous integration
  • Continuous testing
  • User stories
  • Automated testing
  • Pairing
  • Agile games 

3. Applicable Knowledge of the Underlying Technologies

An organization is likely to offer you higher salaries as a Scrum Master if you have a working understanding of the technology that powers their business. That’s simply because if you’re aware of their technologies, they won’t need to spend time, effort, and resources in helping you train in that particular technology – and that way, they’ll be in a position to offer you higher salaries. 

4. Knowledge of Appropriate Patterns and Techniques

A professional Scrum Master always utilizes various well-documented techniques and patterns for filling in the intentional gaps left in the Scrum approach. These approaches include things like various retrospective formats, burndown technologies, handling bugs, and more. If you’re aware of these techniques and have a working knowledge of them, you’ll find yourself in a position of demanding higher salaries. 

5. Location of the job

This one goes without saying. The final salary that you’re offered for the Scrum Master role by any organization depends largely on where the job is located. If it’s a city with high living standards and a dense population, the salary offered is generally higher as compared to if the job is in a remote city with lower living standards. 

Salaries Offered to Scrum Masters

According to Payscale, the average salary for entry-level Scrum Masters in the USA is $79,309 per year. This figure goes on to touch the six-figure mark of $107,957 in some organizations and roles.

However, with more experience and skills, the salaries become increasingly better. Payscale indicates that a Scrum Master with 3-5 years of experience in the USA can, on average, earn $103,566 yearly, with this figure reaching as high as $134,203 yearly for some organizations.

If you have over 5 years of experience and possess the latest industry skills required to work in an agile team, your salary range will increase inevitably. With 5+ years of experience, Scrum Masters in the USA can on average expect a salary of $140,000 yearly. This figure only goes higher from here with your experience, expertise, and skillsets. 

Below mentioned are statistics from Payscale:

Scrum Master Experience/Country USA
Entry-Level Scrum Master $79,309 p.a.

($107,957 highest)

Mid-Level Scrum Master $103,566 p.a
($134,000 highest)
Experienced Scrum Master $140,000+ p.a.

A 2019 research conducted by Glassdoor revealed that Scrum Masters are among the highest paid professionals in the USA with the overall average salary being $98,000 and the number of vacancies as high as 1,896. In terms of job location, cities such as Atlanta, NYC, Charlotte, Richmond, and Charlotte are among the best to be working as a Professional Scrum Master. 

One more factor that goes into improving your Scrum Master salary is the certifications that you’ve done. In that regard, here are some popular Scrum Master certifications and the average salaries that you can draw yearly after completing that certification. 

  • Certified Scrum Master – $89,000
  • Professional Scrum Master – $90,000
  • Agile Certified Practitioner – $105,000
  • Agile Scrum Master – $110,000
  • Scrum Master Certified – $110,000
  • SAFe Scrum Master – $115,000

Top Companies that Hire Scrum Masters

Scrum has become increasingly popular in the past few years, with a greater number of software industry leaders adopting its techniques for solving their day-to-day challenges. According to the Scrum Guide, most software development companies across the world use Scrum strategies in some shape or form. Before reaching the software development industry, Scrum had already been adopted for industries like operations, education, marketing, manufacturing, and others. 

If you have the required experience and expertise to deal with conflicts and are a proven facilitator, you’ll find many top companies hiring for the position of Scrum Master. According to Glassdoor job results, here are the major companies hiring Scrum Masters in the USA, along with the average yearly pay that you can expect at these organizations: 

  • TransUnion – $104,000
  • Thomson Reuters – $103,000
  • UnitedHealth Group – $97,000
  • Ciber – $97,000
  • IBM – $94,000
  • J.P. Morgan – $92,000
  • Capital One – $87,000
  • AT&T – $85,000

The past few years have seen the pay structure of Scrum Masters increase at a rapid pace. Even today, the popularity of Scrum Masters continues to increase. So, if you like working in an Agile environment as in situations of conflict resolution, you might be just the right fit for working as a Scrum Master. The job role is broadly all about using Agile-Scrum techniques to take the projects to completion on time without compromising on the quality of work. 

Why is Scrum Masters so Highly Paid?

Scrum methods have brought revolutionary changes in the way project management was accomplished in various organizations. Problem-solving and conflict resolution have been simplified beyond measures by deploying Scrum methodologies. This reason alone is enough to justify the high salary that Scrum Masters tend to draw. 

We’re living in the digital age where products and software need to be delivered on time after continuous feedback, revisions, collaboration, and so much more. To keep all things in control and ensure that the product rollout happens on time, it’s essential for all the different teams to work in sync. That sounds easier than done – and that’s why Scrum Masters are there to keep everybody on the same table while working towards a common goal. 

Companies today, regardless of their domain of operations, are highly aware of the importance of an Agile workflow and a Scrum Master. Scrum Masters can take any team and convert it into a self-organized, productive unit by following Scrum practices, and that is what makes them unique and indispensable for any organization. 

In Conclusion

Scrum Masters are professionals that are paid handsomely no matter the organization they work for. If you look at their roles and responsibilities, this will make complete sense to you.  After all, they’re responsible for seamless end-to-end project management in the most efficient manner. 

The good news is that becoming a Scrum Master is not that difficult. If you’re inherently a curious person with an inclination towards conflict resolution, this is just the perfect job for you, and with just a little bit of guidance and support, you’ll be on your way to working as a Scrum Master in an organization of your choice. 

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