All About Scrum Master Salary and Responsibilities

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Jun 20, 2022
Updated on
Nov 30, 2022
Table of Content

Scrum is (by far) the most popular way of Agile working, used by approximately 56% of companies for software development Sprints.  

This number is likely on the rise, meaning one main thing: Scrum Masters are fast becoming in high demand. 

Remote Working = Increased Need for Scrum Masters

Scrum Masters had their work cut out for them even before the pandemic, but once the majority of work turned remote, their challenges doubled practically overnight. 

As the team’s facilitator and process watchdog, a Scrum Master needs to ensure that everyone is on the same page, working in tandem and on track. 

But when a team is suddenly remotely scattered (likely with outside influences drawing away their focus during work hours), these responsibilities become a lot trickier to stand by.  

A development team is only as strong as their Scrum Master. And that Scrum Master has to ensure that their team is organized, communicative and collaborative – and even more so when their team isn't located in one place. 

Taking all of this into account, it becomes a lot clearer why demand for Scrum Masters has grown more than ever during the pandemic, and will continue well after: where chaos could reign and demand is increased, a Scrum Master can see through it, organize it, and make it work.  

Average Scrum Master Salaries

While not everyone is cut out for the life of a Scrum Master, those who do venture into the field will be rewarded nicely for their efforts. According to salary comparison site Glassdoor, Scrum Masters are one of the top 25 paid jobs in the US

But how does that compare to international Scrum Masters? The Scrum Master Salary Report 2022 is the fourth survey of Scrum Master salaries worldwide. Of the 1000+ Scrum Masters surveyed, it appears that: 

  • The average Scrum Master salary is $83,687, up from an average of $75,000 in 2019, and $67,000 in 2017 (taken across a range of experience levels, career sectors and organizational size) 
  • Most Scrum Masters have between 4 years or more (50.5%) or 2-4 years experience (31.2%)
Scrum Master Salaries
Source: age-of-product.com

Of course, there are some key factors behind the very steep rise in annual Scrum Master salaries, including: 

  • The pandemic, which began in early 2020 (after the 2019 figures had been recorded), forced the world to move everything online. Not only did this push the Scrum Master’s collaborative and project management-focused role into focus, it also increased the world's demand for online consumption, leading to a greater need for quality development, fast. 
  • The job market for employers became a lot tougher, with not enough top talent to fill vacant positions in time. 
  • The cost of labor, goods and services have all increased since 2017 (and especially during the pandemic and other world crises of late 2021 and 2022).

Scrum Master Responsibilities

A Scrum Master is more of a coordinator than the owner of the product. Instead, they work with the Scrum team and Product Owner to smooth out processes and ensure everyone is working in alignment. 

Key Scrum Master responsibilities include: 

  1. Coaching: Every team member needs to have a clear understanding of what they’re doing, as well as a good grasp of general Agile processes. Team members need to take  full ownership of their tasks, follow processes correctly, and ensure they are ‘an independent team player’. 
  2. Running standup meetings: These daily meetings should take 15 minutes at most, and are designed to keep everyone on track and accountable. The Scrum Master will typically ask questions about what was done yesterday, what will be worked on today, and what could be hindering progress. It is the Scrum Master’s responsibility to ensure all participants attend these meetings. 
  3. Working with the product owner to refine and maintain the backlog, via information delivered during the daily standup meeting. Scrum Masters can also write User Stories and schedule meetings concerning the product backlog
  4. Process optimization: The Scrum Master’s overall role is to keep the team on track, so they should constantly be scanning for any potential roadblocks or distractions that can prevent the team from fulfilling their work, such as unnecessary meetings, or conflicting tasks. Scrum Masters can eliminate these meetings and redistribute whatever needs to be redistributed in order to polish the process. 
  5. Teach Scrum principles: The Scrum Master needs to ensure that the team functions smoothly, which includes ensuring that everyone has a solid understanding of Scrum practices, and is also in charge of onboarding new members to the Scrum team. 

It's important to note that the Scrum Master is not a direct manager; they're a technical manager, responsible for the outcomes alongside the whole team rather than as an individual.  

Who Should Be a Scrum Master? 

While every Scrum Master is certainly an individual, these are the key characteristics shared by most: 

  • An ability to communicate clearly, sharing their experience, encouraging information sharing from others, and being a good listener
  • Being able to lead, mentor and coach (and knowing the difference between these qualities)
  • Being flexible where they need to, but also knowing where to draw the line
  • Being both a self-led individual and a team player, being able to operate among a team and with different stakeholders 
  • Being resourceful and optimistic even when things don’t go as planned 

Scrum Master Salary for U.S. States & Cities

Scrum Masters are highly sought after because of the skills they possess and the challenges they are able to resolve. While this is not a job for the faint of heart, if you are passionate about managing teams, resolving conflict, and becoming a team player, then this might be the right position for you.

Here is what a Scrum Master can expect to earn in major cities across the U.S.

Scrum Master Salary in Dallas

A Scrum Master in Dallas earns an average salary of $123,231. A city with strong economic growth, Dallas is a thriving center for many large businesses. Over 65,000 businesses call Dallas home, and you can expect many of them to adopt Scrum. 

Scrum Master Salary in Atlanta 

Scrum Masters in Atlanta typically make $121,566 per year. Thirty-one companies with headquarters in metro Atlanta are listed on the 2022 Fortune 1000, making this a desirable city to work in for many.

Scrum Master Salary in Houston 

On average, a Scrum Master earns $118,843 per year in Houston. Being the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States, Houston is widely considered to be a major corporate center.

Scrum Master Salary in Chicago  

The average Scrum Master salary in Chicago is $125,405. With a diverse mix of more than 540,000 businesses, you can rest assured that‌ there will be a wide range of job opportunities available for a Scrum Master there.

Scrum Master Salary in Maryland 

The average salary for Scrum Masters in Maryland is $108,776. It is likely that you will find Scrum Master employment opportunities in many business sectors in Maryland, including construction, cyber, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and data analytics.

Scrum Master Salary in New York City

A Scrum Master in New York City earns an average salary of $115,942. On the basis of economic output, the Big Apple is ranked as the most powerful global city in the U.S. Over 451,000 small businesses also play a key role in the New York State economy.

Scrum Master Salary in Charlotte, NC 

The average Scrum Master salary in Charlotte, North Carolina, is $121,359. In the second quarter of 2022, Charlotte gained 12,000 new jobs, making this thriving city the 8th fastest-growing in the country.

Scrum Master Salary in Los Angeles 

For Scrum Masters in Los Angeles, the average salary is $134,159. As one of the most thriving cities worldwide, Los Angeles is home to hundreds of thousands of employees working in the world's leading high-tech and manufacturing industries.

Scrum Master Salary in New Jersey 

The average salary for a Scrum Master in New Jersey is $117,961. The economy of New Jersey is diverse, including major pharmaceutical, life science, financial, and advanced manufacturing companies. 

Scrum Master Salary in Austin  

Austin's average Scrum Master salary is just over $121,000. Austin's industrial market alone comprises approximately 57 million square feet, making it an ideal location to conduct Scrum-based projects such as advanced manufacturing and data management. 

Scrum Master Salary in Massachusetts 

For Scrum Masters in Massachusetts, the average salary is $116,500. The Bay State is the most populous of all six states in the New England region of the United States, with a per capita income that ranks third in the nation, making it a highly desirable state to live and work in.

Scrum Master Salary in Minneapolis 

A safe Scrum Master salary estimate in Minneapolis is $124,582. Minneapolis has the highest number of Fortune 500 companies per capita in the world. The Twin Cities are, in fact, home to sixteen Fortune 500 companies, as well as thirty Fortune 100 companies.

Scrum Master Salary in Texas  

In Texas, the average salary for a Scrum Master is $117,379 per year. Texas has the second largest economy in the United States, with a GDP of $2 trillion, just after California. Owing to this, there is certain to be an abundance of job opportunities for Scrum Masters.

Scrum Master Salary in Ohio  

The average Scrum Master salary in Ohio is $111,883. The largest employment sector in Ohio is trade, transportation, and utilities, followed by health care and education, government, and manufacturing.

Scrum Master Salary in Seattle  

The  average Scrum Masters in Seattle makes $137,127. This city is the third-richest major U.S. city by household income. This results in high-quality and sustainable employment opportunities in the city.

Scrum Master Salary in Boston  

In Boston, Scrum Masters make $121,610 a year. There was positive job growth across most industries in Boston, particularly in health care and social assistance, education, and professional and technical services.

Scrum Master Salary in Denver  

A safe Scrum Master salary estimate in Denver, Colorado, is a little over $118,000. One of the fastest-growing big cities in the U.S., Denver boasts a variety of industries, including aerospace, broadcast and telecommunications, healthcare, wellness, financial services, bioscience, energy, and IT.

Scrum Master Salary in Philadelphia  

A Scrum Master in Philadelphia earns an average salary of $128,164. In 2025, Philadelphia is expected to generate 774,900 jobs, approximately 5% higher than the 738,800 before the epidemic.

Scrum Master Salary in Phoenix  

 Scrum Masters in Phoenix, Arizona earn an average salary of $119,481. Phoenix is primarily a healthcare, government, and transportation hub. Many rural areas in Arizona still rely heavily on agriculture and mining, the state's original export industries.

Scrum Master Salary in San Francisco  

A Scrum Master in San Francisco earns an average salary of $134,464. You can earn up to $170,000 in the financial services & online banking sector. The Bay Area is also home to a variety of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, film production, construction, and technology.

Scrum Master Salary in California 

On average, a Scrum Master earns $123,361 per year in the Golden State. As the world's largest subnational economy, California would rank fifth in the world if it were its own country, just after Japan and Germany.

Scrum Master Salary in Connecticut

Scrum Masters in Connecticut earn an average salary of $117,630.. Although Connecticut is mainly a middle-class state, it is recognized as a global leader in investment and asset management and is home to North America's largest fuel cell power plant.

Scrum Master Salary in Miami 

In Miami, the average Scrum Master salary is $120,253. The city of Miami has one of the most robust economies in the country, with an unemployment rate of just 2.3%. Its biggest industries are tourism, finance, and telecommunications.

Scrum Master Salary in Orlando 

Scrum Masters in Orlando, Florida earn an average salary of $114,533. With its parks and many attractions, Orlando is one of the best-known cities in the state and has a strategic location in the middle of the state. The support entrepreneurs receive here is one of many reasons why it’s a great place to start a business.

Scrum Master Salary in San Diego 

A Scrum Master in San Diego, California, earns an average salary of $114,986. Manufacturing clusters in San Diego span a wide range of industries, from defense and aerospace to shipbuilding and repair, to medical devices and craft brewing, to sports and lifestyle.

Scrum Master Salary in Georgia 

The average salary for a Scrum Master in the state of Georgia is $113,334. Real estate, information, and manufacturing accounted for the majority of employment in 2022, while unemployment rates averaged at 3.1%.

Scrum Master Predictions for 2023 and Beyond

Moving forward, Scrum Masters are going to become an even hotter commodity than they already are. 

Between having new team members to onboard, their increasingly growing development teams, and continuing to help teams implement and refine their Agile framework, there’s certainly a lot of work to be done. 

With every development Sprint and Scrum team seeking to become the fastest and most efficient yet, the Scrum Master plays a key role. 2023 seems to be the beginning of this exciting evolution, with much more yet to happen.

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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