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Scrum Master

Kaitakawaenga Kakari

Alternative titles for this job

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

Pay

Scrum masters usually earn

$120K-$200K per year

Source: Recruit I.T., 2021.

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, experience and where you work, with pay in Auckland being higher. 

  • Scrum masters usually earn $120,000 to $170,000 per year.
  • Agile coaches, who train teams in scrum and other Agile software development approaches, usually earn $140,000 to $200,000.

Sources: 'Recruit I.T. Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland', July 2021, 'Recruit I.T. Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021.

(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.

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful 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

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 similar Agile approaches to:

  • shift services and systems online
  • build user-friendly websites and apps
  • redesign existing websites for mobile devices.

Shortage of experienced scrum masters

There are not enough experienced scrum masters to meet demand. Nearly two thirds of IT employers report skills shortages, and there aren't enough information technology (IT) trainees.

How to get your first IT job

You can improve your chances of getting a job through:

  • internships like Summer of Tech
  • graduate programmes offered by IT companies
  • mentoring programmes.

Types of employers varied

Scrum masters can work for:

  • private companies that provide web, database and network services
  • software development companies
  • private companies 
  • government departments and educational institutions.

Sources

  • Hays, 'IT Salary Guide and Recruiting Trends', accessed November 2021, (www.hays.net.nz).
  • Recruit I.T. 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland', 'Recruit I.T Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021, (www.recruitit.co.nz).

(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 16 August 2022