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Scrum Master

Kaitakawaenga Kakari

Alternative titles for this job

Scrum masters use the scrum software development approach to keep project teams on track. They also help remove obstacles to progress. 

Pay

Scrum masters usually earn

$110K-$190K per year

Source: Recruit I.T., 2018.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a scrum master are good due to a shortage of workers.

Pay

Pay for scrum masters varies depending on skills and experience. According to Recruit I.T.:

  • scrum masters usually earn $110,000 to $140,000 per year
  • Agile coaches, who train teams in scrum and other Agile software development approaches, usually earn $120,000 to $190,000 per year.

Scrum masters and Agile coaches working as contractors can earn $120 to $160 an hour.

Sources: Recruit I.T., 'Auckland Job Market & Salaries Update', 2018, and 'Wellington I.T. Job Market & Salaries Update', 2018.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Scrum masters may do some or all of the following:

  • coach and lead scrum teams
  • organise short standup meetings and facilitate these using the scrum method
  • manage and report on the activities of the scrum team
  • protect the scrum team from interruptions when a product is being developed
  • help the scrum team deal with obstacles.

Skills and knowledge

Scrum masters need to have knowledge of some or all of the following:

  • principles of the Agile approach to project management
  • scrum methodology
  • other Agile approaches and techniques such as Kanban and continuous testing
  • how to handle software development issues
  • common web technologies used by the scrum team.

Working conditions

Scrum masters:

  • usually work full time and may work evenings
  • may travel locally to meet clients.

Entry requirements

There are no specific requirements to become a scrum master. However, you usually need: 

  • an industry certification such as Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM)
  • two or more years’ experience working in the Agile methodology and being a member in scrum teams.

Scrum masters may also have a diploma or degree, often in an IT-related subject such as software engineering, computer science, information systems or e-commerce.

If you are a graduate from a field other than IT, you can gain a fast-tracked IT-related qualification through ICT Graduate Schools.

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful school subjects include digital technologies, maths, business studies and English.

For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience.

Personal requirements

Scrum masters need to have: 

  • good communication skills
  • strong planning and organising skills
  • the ability to solve problems creatively
  • excellent leadership skills
  • the ability to build relationships and resolve conflicts
  • a strong interest in mentoring people.

Useful experience

Useful experience for scrum masters includes: 

  • working in teams that use the Agile approach to project management
  • managing projects
  • on-the-job training through IT internships and graduate recruitment programmes.

Physical requirements

Scrum masters spend a lot of time using computers, so they need to know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).

Registration

Scrum masters may choose to become certified through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals. 

Find out more about training

Engineering New Zealand
(04) 473 9444 - hello@engineeringnz.org - www.engineeringnz.org
IT Professionals NZ
0800 252 255 - info@itp.nz - www.itp.nz
NZTech
(09) 475 0204 - info@nztech.org.nz - www.nztech.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Increasing demand for scrum masters

Demand for experienced scrum masters is rising due to the popularity of scrum and other Agile software development approaches for:

  • shifting services and systems online
  • building user-friendly websites and apps
  • redesigning existing websites for access on mobile devices such as phones and tablets to access them.

Shortage of experienced scrum masters

There are still not enough experienced scrum masters to meet demand, and not enough information technology (IT) trainees coming through.

How to get your first IT job

You can improve your chances of getting a job by gaining experience through government and IT industry initiatives, which include:

  • internships like Summer of Tech
  • graduate programmes offered by IT companies
  • mentoring programmes
  • programmes to encourage more women into IT, such as ShadowTech 

Types of employers varied

Scrum masters can work for a wide range of organisations, including:

  • private companies that provide web, database and network services to clients
  • specialised software development companies
  • private companies such as large retailers or marketing and advertising companies
  • government departments and educational institutions.

Sources

  • Recruit I.T., 'Auckland Job Market & Salaries Update', 2018; and 'Wellington I.T. Job Market & Salaries Update', 2018, (www.recruitit.co.nz).
  • Jarrell, J, ‘Scrum Master Demand is at its Strongest Point Ever’, 20 February 2017, (www.jeremyjarrell.com).
  • Malan, S, marketing manager, AbsoluteIT, Careers Directorate – Tertiary Education Commission interview, August 2017.
  • McKendrick, J, ‘Why the Hottest Technology Job this Year May Be Scrum Master’, ZDNet, 8 February 2017, (www.zdnet.com).
  • Nesdale, T, scrum master, Tertiary Education Commission, Careers Directorate – Tertiary Education Commission interview, August 2017.
  • Version One, '11th Annual State of Agile Report', accessed August 2017, (www.versionone.com).

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Scrum masters may progress to become: 

  • senior scrum masters who work with multiple teams at the same time, or with more demanding teams and products
  • Agile coaches, who train teams in using Agile methodologies
  • information technology managers, who plan and supervise the IT services in an organisation or technical team.

 

Two men and a woman standing in front of a whiteboard talking

Scrum masters keep software development projects on track

Last updated 3 July 2019