About a month ago we posed a question via our blog: “How much is a scrum master worth?”. Below are the results, our interpretation and of course, the raw data for you to scrutinize 🙂


Why is this question so difficult to answer?

We think there are two main contributors that make this a difficult question to answer. The first is that many people transition into this role and therefore their current salary is taken through to the role. And secondly, fresh graduates can move into the role and be mentored, over time, from junior to intermediate to senior.

In order to acknowledge this we included the question – Number of years in IT. You be the judge of it this mattered.

Scrum has been in South Africa since about 2007, and the first CSM was in early 2008 (I am basing this on memory – so could be wrong!).  That gives us the maximum number of years someone could have as a scrum master as 6.

Enough already – get to the meaty bits!

How many people took the survey? 19

You can get the Raw Data here, and draw your own conclusions.

Level by years as a scrum master:

Level by years in IT:

Salary by level:

Salary by years as a scrum master:

The first thing we noticed above is – wow the data is ALL over the place! Then we got a bit more analytical…

  • We noticed that years as a scrum master is NOT equivalent to experience as a scrum master.
  • People tend to move from Junior to Intermediate quickly – within a year.
  • Most Senior people have 3+ years experience as a scrum master and 10+ yrs experience in IT.
  • The Intermediate level is a problem area. Some people seem to get stuck here and salaries appear capped at around R45000 per month.

Our conclusion based on all this:

We gave very specific points to help classify yourself as a junior, intermediate or senior – and none of these was time based.
So we think salary is determined more by how you value yourself than years as a scrum master.
If you are an influential (senior by our definition) scrum master, coaching others in your organisation then your perceived value to the organisation is higher, and thus you are paid more.
To grow as a scrum master and to grow your salary you need to coach others outside your team.

Based on all of this … what are the salary brackets we recommend?

If you are a fairly fresh graduate then as an entry level salary we recommend R10K – R25K. You need the right temperament and attitude for this role above all else.
If you are transitioning from another role then your salary should remain as is (but should be at least the entry level above!)
For less than 2 years experience as a scrum master R25K – R35K
For more than 2 years experience as a scrum master R35K – R45K
To work effectively at this level, you need a lot of hands on knowledge of the IT world and of experience in working with different people. All the seniors in the survey had a minimum of 10 years experience in IT. Thus the number of years mentioned below would not be for a graduate with 3 years experience as a scrum master. This is a person who is knowledgable about various frameworks in IT and has practical experience and not just “learned from a book” knowledge.
For around 3 years experience as a Scrum Master R45K – R55K
For over 3 years experience as a Scrum Master R55K +

What are your thoughts?

We are keen to hear from others any conclusions they can draw from the data. Post a comment.
We didn’t get as much feedback as we would have liked – the more data you have the better. Because of this – we will be leaving the survey up – and checking periodically if we have new trends. Please get your fellow scrum masters to participate! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QK5Z99Z