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As a servant leader, the Scrum Master is one of the leading figures in agile ways of working. He or she bears the great responsibility of guiding a project through the myriad forks and tangles of software development – without getting lost or tripped up. In other words, Scrum Masters have an important job that helps determine the success or failure of projects.
With so much responsibility, the question arises: what does the Scrum Master salary look like? Are you compensated accordingly for this important role in Agile? I will take a detailed look at the factors that determine the salary of a Scrum Master. And I'll show you concrete figures on how much Scrum Masters earn in Germany, the USA and the UK. Are you ready for the big Scrum Master salary check?
What does a Scrum Master do?
Before we get into the salary for Scrum Masters, let's take a quick look at the responsibilities of the agile role. This will help you better understand the wages and paint a more holistic picture of the profession.
Scrum Masters coordinate the development of products – usually in a software context – according to the Scrum framework. To do this, they support team members in such a way that they always approach their tasks with motivation and competence. What does this mean?
Scrum masters ensure that teams think and act agilely in their everyday work. To make this possible, they train teams professionally in Scrum on the one hand and inspire them on the other hand by exemplifying the Scrum Values. The result: teams not only learn all the important workflows and methods of Agile. They also experience that iterative, autonomous, and flexible collaboration produces a better end product.
Support and Facilitate
Scrum Masters moderate and support their teams. To do this, they continuously hold meetings such as Retrospectives to continuously develop the team and its ways of working. They do not interfere with the work of teams in terms of content, but merely guide the processes in and between teams.
Scrum Masters convey messages that motivate team members to think and act. They are a coach for personal development, taking responsibility and self-organization.
Scrum Masters create framework conditions in which team members can work productively and with concentration. To do this, Scrum Masters identify and remove obstacles in everyday work such as technical problems, knowledge gaps, time-related problems, and disagreements between team members.
If you want to get a more detailed overview of the tasks, responsibilities, and skills of Scrum Masters, take a look at our blog post on the Role of the Scrum Master.
How much does a Scrum Master make in the USA?
The salary for Scrum Masters in the USA is higher than in Germany. On the one hand, this is since life in large US cities is more expensive, and on the other hand, Scrum Masters are even more in demand there than in Germany. They are therefore currently among the best-paid professionals in the USA.
On average, the salary for Scrum Masters in the USA lies around 98,000 US-dollars. Given that you work 2080 hours per year, in the USA a Scrum Master does make 47.1$ per hour. Salaries vary, especially depending on the Scrum certification you hold. Let's zoom in:
- Certified Scrum Master: $89,000 (€86,800)
- Professional Scrum Master: $90,000 (€87,900)
- Agile Certified Practitioner: $105,000 (€102,500)
- Agile Scrum Master: $110,000 (€107,500)
- Scrum Master Certified: $110,000 (€107,500)
- SAFe Scrum Master: $115,000 (€112,500)
The figures come from the database of Glassdoor.
The following chart shows how the Scrum Master salary in the USA develops with increasing professional experience. It shows that after university you usually start with a salary of around 69,000 USD (67,600 Euro) and with more than 20 years of professional experience you earn more than 114,000 USD (111,800 Euro). The figures come from a study by the Project Management Institute.
How much does a Scrum Master make per hour in UK?
The salary for Scrum Masters in the UK varies greatly depending on the source. For example, a study by Talent.com comes to around 55,000 British pounds annually. This currently corresponds to about 64,700 euros. You start your career as an entry-level employee with 45,000 pounds (52,600 euros). If you have reached a senior level or are a manager, you can expect up to 67,500 pounds (79,000 euros).
Reed.co.uk estimates that the average salary for Scrum Masters in the UK is 73,000 British pounds (86,000 euros). The discrepancy could perhaps be since the studies used differently qualified Scrum Masters (PSM 1, PSM 2, Agile Master) as a basis. If we take 67,500 pounds, then a Scrum Master in UK makes 32.5 pounds per hour.
How much does a Scrum Master make in Germany?
Salary for Scrum Master: These factors are crucial
You now know the most important tasks that Scrum Masters must take on and master. How does this translate into their financial compensation? What is the salary of a Scrum Master?
First of all I have to say: There is of course – as in many other jobs also – not the one Scrum Master salary. How much a Scrum Master earns depends primarily on six factors. FYI: The numbers come from the 2022 IT Compensation Study by Compensation Partner and the Stepstone Salary Report 2022.
Average Scrum Master Salary After Graduation
1. Your education
So far, there is no official degree program dedicated to agile working with Scrum. Nevertheless, companies often require a degree as a prerequisite for a Scrum position. Business administration, computer science, business informatics or, more recently, psychology are particularly common to land a job as a Scrum Master. As far as a Scrum Master salary in Germany is concerned, the longer you have studied, the more money you will get.
This means, directly after your bachelor's degree, you will start with a Scrum Master salary between 41,000 and 48,000 euros per year. If you have also completed a master’s degree, your career will begin with 46,000 to 53,000 euros. The highest average salary at the start of your career awaits you, if you have a doctorate. You can then expect to earn around 60,000 euros per year.
Since you don't yet know how agile works, when you finished a degree in business administration or computer science, you usually only learn this on the job. However, some companies require that you complete a Scum Master certification before starting your job. Depending on the provider and qualification – for example PSM 1, PSM 2 or Agile Coach – this takes between two days and two months. The cost of the PSM 1 certification lies between 800 and 2,500 euros. PSM 2 costs between 1,300 and 2,100 euros. For the Agile Coach training, you'll have to pay between 6,000 and 10,000 euros.
2. Company size
The salary for a Scrum Master is linked to the number of employees and financial strength of your employer. The larger the company, the more money you will get. This is not only due to the budget for personnel, but also to the challenge that awaits you.
After all, large corporations are often not agile at all levels, which means that you will always be faced with the task of explaining your thinking and actions to people from the non-agile environment. This is often easier in medium-sized companies. The "agile mindset" is often known there or even implemented on many levels. Startups often make it especially easy for you: they want you to work agile from front to back with everyone involved.
The Scrum Master salary at large companies is the highest at 52,000 to 60,000 euros at the start of your career – provided you have a Master's degree. Medium-sized companies will pay you between 46,000 and 53,000 euros. At startups, you will receive an annual salary of around 47,000 euros directly after university.
Average starting salary for Scrum Masters by company size
3. Industry of the company
For all jobs out there, the more money there is in an industry, the more you can earn. Sounds logical, doesn't it? Despite scandals and upheavals, the automotive industry is still doing particularly well. The salary for Scrum Masters after a master's degree lies between 51,000 and 60,000 euros. In the energy sector and the industrial sector, you can expect to earn around 54,000 euros. The lowest Scrum Master salary can be found within employees in retail. There you can expect just under 47,000 euros.
Salary for Scrum Master: Average starting salary for Scrum Masters by Industry
Source Scrum Master Salary: What does a Scrum Master earn? | get in IT (get-in-it.de)
4. Region (Scrum Master Salary)
You don't earn the same money everywhere in Germany. Basically, jobs in urban regions are better paid than in rural areas. And: In the south of Germany (e.g. Munich) you usually earn more than in the rest of the country. Salaries are lowest in the East.
This also applies to the average salary for Scrum Masters. You can expect particularly good money after your master’s degree in Bavaria (just under 55,000 euros) and in Baden-Württemberg (a good 56,000 euros). Only the state of Hesse stands out from the rest. There you can expect the highest annual salary in Germany as a Scrum Master with 56,500 euros. In Berlin you can expect around 50,000 euros and in Hamburg 55,000 euros.
Average Scrum Master Salary by State
Source Scrum Master Salary: Scrum Master » Salary & Occupation | SALARY.de
5. Your work experience
You now know what Scrum Master salary you can expect in Germany after your master’s degree. But what comes after a few years of work experience? How fast and how much can you increase your salary?
One thing is clear: with more experience in your job, you can also take on more tasks and responsibility. You'll have advanced skills in leadership principles, conflict resolution, situational awareness, facilitation, and continuous improvement. Plus, you'll master more strategies and approaches like Kanban, Crystal, XP and FDD. This also manifests itself in your pay.
To give you an overview of all salary levels, we will not only look at the salaries in Germany, but also at the salaries for Scrum Masters in the USA and the UK. Scrum Masters are currently not only in demand in Germany, but also internationally. If your English is at a good level, you can also land a well-paid job in large markets such as the USA or the UK.
Salary for Scrum Master in Germany by work experience
While you earn around 50,000 euros when you start your career, you will already make a small jump in salary after the first two years on the job. Then, wages between 50,000 and 60,000 euros gross per year are possible. Three to five years of experience will give you a Scrum Master salary of just under 58,000 euros to 70,000 euros. As a senior with six to ten years of Scrum experience, you can expect to earn between 65,000 and 80,000 euros. As a manager with ten years of experience, your salary will be between 72,000 and 94,000 euros.
Source Scrum Master salary by work experience: What does a Scrum Master earn? | get in IT (get-in-it.de)
Conclusion – Salary for Scrum Master:
Scrum masters are sought-after professionals – in Germany, but also internationally. They take on a lot of responsibility. This applies to the quality of products as well as to the management of personnel. How competent they actually are is not only shown by KPIs, which are an indication of Scrum Master Performance , but also by their salary. Especially your work experience has a big impact on how much money ends up in your account at the end of the month.
One of the main challenges of Scrum Masters is to anchor agile thinking and acting in the company. Project Scagile, we show you which 7 mistakes you should avoid at all costs during an agile transformation. Take a look, the workshops are free of charge.