The position of a Scrum Master (even though it’s supposed to be a role and not a career) is highly regarded and sought-after these days. It is considered to be one of the best-paid jobs in the world today. As a matter of fact, the Scrum Master's salary in the U.S. ranges anywhere between $85,000 and $125,000 depending on who you ask.
In addition, the salary can increase further if you're certified and have more experience. As more companies are adopting the Agile methodology, they've realized how essential Scrum Master position is to the entire organization. That's why more and more job ads are appearing practically everywhere. With that in mind, here are a few ways on where and how to find well-paid Scrum Master jobs.
Scrum Master job description
The Scrum Master is a well-paid job but it entails a lot of responsibilities, especially if the role also involves acting as an organizational coach. In other words, being a Scrum Master isn't easy but it's definitely exciting. The following are just some of the responsibilities that make up the Scrum Master job description.
The Scrum Master is responsible for supporting and promoting the Scrum framework organization-wide. In other words, they help everyone understand and adopt the theory behind this framework, its practices, rules and values. It's a servant leadership role that collaborates with development teams, product owners and the organization's upper management. As an example:
Scrum Master and Product Owner (PO)
- Making sure that the scope, goals and product domains are understood by everyone in the Scrum Team
- Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for concise and clear backlog items.
- Assisting the PO in ordering the Product Backlog, in order to maximize value.
- Helping everyone understand that Sprint Planning is a collaborative environment.
Scrum Master and the Development Team
- Coaching developers on how to be self-organizing and cross-functional.
- Helping Development Teams create high-valued products.
- Helping remove obstacles in the Development Team's progress.
- Assisting in events when needed or requested.
- Coaching development teams on organizational needs and environments, especially in cases where Scrum isn't fully understood or adopted yet.
Scrum Master and the organization
- Providing coaching to organizations on how to adopt the Scrum framework and Agile methodology.
- Planning out how to implement Scrum practices organization-wide.
- Helping employees and stakeholders understand Scrum and product development within this framework.
- Encouraging changes that improve the overall productivity of Scrum teams.
- Working with other Scrum Masters to increase Scrum's effective adaptation within an organization.
As you can see, a Scrum Master has multiple roles to play and numerous essential responsibilities, which makes this role highly-valuable to any organization that wishes to adopt both Agile practices and the Scrum framework.
Another factor is certification. Being certified as a Scrum Master helps with finding a job. You'll either need CSM (Certified Scrum Master) or PSM (Professional Scrum Master) credential or in some cases, you might need both.
Where to find Scrum Master jobs?
There is no shortage of places you can find Scrum Master jobs online. ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and Indeed are the most popular job search sites out there and a great place to start your search. Dice, Ladders and StackOverflow are more specialized for jobs in tech and management and you might want to check them out too.
LinkedIn can also be an ally in your search for a Scrum Master job, especially since you can use your personal connections to increase your chances of getting your foot in. Scrum and Agile LinkedIn groups can be an additional tool you can use to find great companies in need of Scrum Masters.
You should also check out your local Agile groups and/or organizations where you can find out about jobs and let them know you are looking. For example, you will find a Scrum/Agile Meetup group in pretty much every major city in the world (and not just major ones).
A few tips on finding a Scrum Master job
There are a few things you should keep in mind when trying to find a job as a Scrum Master.
For one, a common issue, especially for those who are looking for entry-level Scrum Master jobs is the lack of experience. Many companies, especially bigger ones will seek out Scrum Masters with at least two years of experience. It’s the common lack of experience Catch-22 - you can't get a job because you lack the experience and you can't obtain the experience because you can't find a job.
It's not uncommon for large companies to be risk-averse. They don't want too much disruption and they avoid risk altogether. That's why they're willing to hire only experienced Scrum Masters or coaches who will bring up new Scrum Masters from within.
The good news is that there are plenty of smaller, newer organizations who might be looking for Scrum Masters to help them with their Agile approach. These are actually better situations for new Scrum Masters since such smaller companies are actually much more likely to really, honestly be(come) Agile.
Which brings us to our second consideration - it is really hard to figure out how serious a company is about working in Scrum and being Agile.
Some companies are not looking to adopt Scrum for the sake of the improvement. Instead, they're looking for patterns that will yield a competitive advantage. It can be maddening to work as a Scrum Master in such a company as you are asked to balance Agile with a more traditional command-and-control approach burdened with mountains of documentation. You can also expect to encounter insurmountable pushback from different levels of management, making it all but impossible to do your job as a Scrum Master.
It can be difficult to outright recognize such an organization, but the questions they ask you in the interview can be a good indicator of what they are looking for.
On a less negative note, when searching for Scrum Master jobs, you should also try and find out if the position you are interested in is more team-focused or organization-focused. Depending on your experience and skill set, you might be more suited for one than the other. But we are talking personal affinities here.
Instead of a closing word
One of the best things about your quest to find Scrum Master jobs is that the demand outstrips the supply. In other words, there are more companies out there looking for Scrum Masters than the other way around.
Keep your resume fresh, continue learning and you should have no troubles finding a company that will gladly put your Scrum Master skills to the test.