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How to Become a Scrum Master in 5 Simple Steps

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If you’re seeking a dynamic and fulfilling career in Agile project management, consider becoming a scrum master.

The future of scrum masters is bright and opens the door to many opportunities.

However, mastering the scrum framework can be both exciting and challenging because of what it brings to the surface.

Scrum is a project management framework that’s simple to understand but difficult to master.

Here’s an overview of what the job entails, what skills you need, and how to become a scrum master.

An Overview of Scrum Master: A Primer

Scrum is part of the Agile project management methodology commonly used in software development to help teams collaborate and work towards a common goal.

Scrum defines a work environment where teams and people can build products and deliver value, one slice at a time.

A scrum master is an integral part of the Agile development team that manages communication between team members while ensuring the scrum framework is followed. They understand both the principles and the practices of scrum.

While scrum masters lead the scrums, don’t confuse them with project leaders or project managers. They’re not singularly responsible for project outcomes and solving teams’ problems.

A scrum master role often demands some or all of the following responsibilities, which are not all defined by scrum:

  • Facilitates communication and collaboration within the team
  • Ensures the team follows Agile principles and practices
  • Aids in the estimation and creation of sub-tasks
  • Participates in meetings and captures feedback
  • Eliminates bottlenecks through process or workflow improvements
  • Streamlines the processes to achieve desired outcomes faster

How Much Do Scrum Masters Make?

According to career expert Zippia, the average Scrum Master makes an average of $86,329 a year in the US, roughly $41.50 per hour—the average salary ranges from $65,000 to $114,000 a year.

The salary can vary depending on the scrum master’s location, education, and experience level.

Related: How to land your first job as a freelance web developer

What Youll Need to Become a Scrum Master [& Associated Costs]

From sprint planning to addressing impediments, scrum masters assist team members, product owners, and Agile developers.

Here are some soft and technical scrum master skills you should consider:

  • Communication and Collaboration: As a scrum master, you must communicate with team members and lead daily meetings. You have to work with a variety of people from all teams. Good communication and collaboration skills will help you share your ideas and feedback effectively.
  • Scrum and Agile Knowledge: You must demonstrate competency with Agile and have a strong knowledge of the values and principles of the general scrum framework so that you can provide the best possible guidance for your team.
  • Conflict Resolution: Part of a scrum master’s job profile may involve solving problems and removing roadblocks, particularly in complex domains where product requirements are not clear. This will help foster a positive work environment.
  • Leadership and Coaching: Scrum masters often assume the role of project managers or serve as process owners for the team. You should be open to opportunities for the team to improve the workflow and ensure the work doesn’t slow down.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Scrum Master?

You can advance your career and gain more credentials by taking professional scrum master certifications. And certification usually includes course fees, exam fees, and renewal fees.

For example, CSM certification costs and training range from $500 to $2,000, including the exam fee. The cost of renewal is $100, valid for two years.

Is It Hard to Become a Scrum Master?

Scrum master is not an easy job. To become a scrum master, you need to study, get a professional certification, and gain practical experience.

Sometimes, the successful delivery of a product lies in the hands of a scrum master, which might get overwhelming for some. Leading scrum teams under the principles of scrum and Agile requires a proactive approach.

With the right knowledge and skill set, you can become a scrum master.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Scrum Master?

Becoming a certified scrum master requires you to complete training and take an exam to gain your credential. A certification demonstrates your expertise in scrum principles.

Factor in the time you need to study and train to gain access to the certification test. It shouldn’t take more than a month, considering you spent at least two weeks preparing for the test. Training is not required, but it will help you learn the fundamentals of scrum better.

How to Become a Scrum Master in 5 Simple Steps

Scrum is a powerful methodology to implement in your processes and practices to handle projects more efficiently. 

Here’s an overview of how to get started in five simple steps.

Step 1: Get the Required Education and Experience

To become a skilled scrum master, you must have a strong grasp of the basic principles of Agile and the general scrum framework. And knowledge comes from experience and education. The best way to get that knowledge is through education.

While no formal education is required for a scrum master position, most companies prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, IT, or a related field. A degree will open up many job opportunities for you.

Step 2: Consider Your Scrum Master Certification

The best way to master scrum is through recognized scrum master certifications. Professional certification will help demonstrate your competency and commitment. One of the largest certification organizations for Agile and scrum is the Scrum Alliance.

Several scrum certifications can put you on the path to becoming a scrum master. Some of the most popular certifications include:

Step 3: Connect With Others in the Agile Community

You’ll never be as good as you can be without connecting and learning from others in the Agile community. There are a lot of different ways you can do that. You could participate in the Agile community through LinkedIn, Scrum.org, Agile Alliance, etc.

Exchange knowledge and skills by connecting with people who are practicing and learning scrum. This gives you access to a wide range of expertise to seek valuable feedback and help fuel continued development. 

Step 4: Get Coaching and Mentorship

Getting real experience can be tricky, especially when you’re a novice. Because most companies prefer experienced candidates, it’s a good idea to work with a mentor or a coach to gain some skills and advance in your career.

Scrum masters often assume the roles of leaders and coaches. Trying to be a coach without having received coaching yourself is like running a marathon without a pair of running shoes.

Look for a mentor who can help you master your skills.

Step 5: Apply for Jobs to Accelerate Your Learning

Get involved and put yourself out there to see where you can help or serve the community. Getting your first job as a scrum master without experience can be tricky. Look for entry-level positions and gain some exposure to build your profile.

You may not have any hands-on scrum master experience, but if you have scrum or agile experience, you can look for opportunities to practice agility.

If you can’t find any opportunities, you can consider looking for volunteer work. Even a small step will help.

Reasons to Consider Becoming Scrum Master

Whether you’re seeking new opportunities or looking to make a career in scrum as a beginner, there are many reasons to motivate you.

  • Scrum is popular: Its capability to help teams move and learn faster makes it so popular in the IT and software development domains. It’s one of the fastest-growing project management frameworks, making it a viable career choice.
  • Flexible workload: Scrum is designed in such a way as to quickly and effectively respond to any changes. Because scrum promotes iterative product delivery, you can break down any issue into smaller problems.
  • Higher earning potential: You can get certified to demand higher remuneration packages. Certified scrum masters tend to have a competitive advantage over their non-certified peers. There’s always room to grow professionally and financially.
  • Expand your job prospects: It may open the door to many professional prospects. You can take on new job opportunities and challenges as you gain experience leading teams and facilitating Agile principles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the questions many aspiring scrum masters have asked.

How do I become a scrum master with no experience?

If you have a knack for Agile and are passionate about team management, you can become a scrum master with no experience.

A degree or certification will help you master some great skills you need to become a skilled scrum master.

Can a project manager be a scrum master?

Yes and no. Some skills overlap, but they’re not the same. The transition from project manager to scrum master can be challenging, but you can get some training in Agile and gain some experience with scrum to become a scrum master.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

Feel like you’re not suited for the job? Consider these alternatives.

  • Become a Web Designer: If you’re looking for a fast-paced career that offers location flexibility and allows you to use your creativity, you can put your creative side to the test as a web designer.
  • Become a Web Developer: If you’re looking for a way out of the typical nine-to-five grind coding for just one company, you have the opportunity to flex your coding skills as a freelance web developer and earn a lot of money.
  • Become a Software Engineer: If you love designing computer programs and want a high degree of flexibility with good pay, becoming a software engineer could be the right career choice for you.

Wrapping Up

Being a scrum master can be a fun and rewarding career. However, not everyone who has the skills and qualities of a scrum master should be a scrum master.

Scrum is all about flexibility and adaptability. A skilled scrum master is someone that team members want to follow.

With a keen sense of Agile and scrum principles, you can be on your path to becoming a skilled scrum master.

Hopefully, we covered everything you need to succeed in your career as a scrum master.

If you have any questions, let us know in the comments section below. Feel free to share the article if you think it’s helpful.

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