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Scrum is a widely used project management framework that helps businesses and organizations oversee large projects. Earning a Scrum Master certification demonstrates proficiency in best practices, Scrum principles, and established industry standards. This degree can help you increase your earning potential and expand your career opportunities.
This article focuses on the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)® designation, which is among the most popular certifications for scrum masters. On this page, we provide an overview of Scrum Master salary potential, certification requirements, length of certification, and title benefits.
What is the Scrum Master certification?
The CSM certification is a popular credential administered by the Scrum Alliance®. Other scrum master certifications exist, but the CSM is the most popular.
This designation can qualify you for leadership roles in agile development. It also gives you the skills to manage large teams across multiple departments. Achieving CSM certification is also a prerequisite for the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster™ and Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)® designations. These are more advanced certifications, also offered by the Scrum Alliance.
CSM certification demonstrates competence in Scrum methodologies and values. These include accountability, team performance, and facilitating collaboration between software development teams and stakeholders.
The CSM certification is suitable for professionals working in a variety of roles and departments. These professionals can include software developers, business analysts, new Scrum team members, project managers, and scrum masters.
How long does it take to get the Scrum Master certification?
Several factors contribute to the time it takes to achieve Scrum Master certification. For the CSM credential, you must complete an in-person or online course. The courses offered by Scrum Alliance provide, at a minimum, 14 hours of interactive training delivered by a certified instructor. This does not include extra time spent studying outside of class.
After completing the required course hours, you must take and pass the CSM exam to officially earn certification.
How much does the Scrum Master certification cost?
Scrum Master certification costs typically start around $450. However, prices can vary greatly depending on the course. Some free Scrum Master certification training options are available, but usually only on a trial basis.
In most cases, the training fee includes the cost of the exam. If you do not initially achieve a passing grade, you may retake the test twice at no charge within 90 days of receiving your welcome email. You will be charged a minimum of $25 for replays starting on your third attempt.
To maintain your certification, you must recertify every two years, which costs $100.
What is covered by the training course fees?
The training fee covers the following.
- The first two years of certification
- Two exam attempts within 90 days of attending the course or receiving your welcome email
- Course materials approved by Scrum Alliance provided in class by instructors
- The two-day in-person training course
- A two-year membership in the Scrum Alliance community
Scrum Master Certification Requirements
Scrum Master certification requirements include the following:
- Enroll in a scrum master course led by a certified scrum trainer
- Complete the CSM course
- Pass the CSM certification exam with at least 74%
- Recertify every two years or as needed
Steps to becoming a Scrum Master
Below is an overview of the steps required to become a CSM.
Sign up for a Scrum Master course
There are several in-person and online scrum master courses available. A scrum master course typically lasts two days, with lessons lasting seven to 8.5 hours per day. The cost of a scrum master course usually starts around $450, which also includes the cost of the exam. The Scrum Master courses feature variations of the following topics.
- Scrum Theory
- Scrum values
- Scrum artifacts
- Scrum roles and responsibilities
- Agile Manifesto
- Agile and Scrum fundamental methodologies, terminologies and concepts
- Scrum framework, principles and best practices
- The four Scrum events
- agile animation
- Basic skills
After completing the course, you should have the knowledge and tools to take and pass the exam. For working professionals, a CSM course provides practical skills that can immediately apply to their current jobs.
Scrum is relevant in several industries. Besides aspiring scrum masters, professionals who could benefit from CSM training can include project managers, product managers, business analysts, and software engineers.
Pass the Scrum Master certification exam
To earn your CSM certification, you must pass the one-hour exam, which contains 50 questions. A 74%, which requires answering 37 questions correctly, is considered a passing grade. Your CSM training course fee includes the cost of the exam.
The exam is based on the content you will learn during the training course, which includes the following areas:
- scrum and agile
- Scrum Theory
- Scrum values
- Scrum Team
- melee master
- Scrum Events
- Scrum artifacts
You can refer to the test plan published by the Scrum Alliance. Make sure the plan is the most up-to-date version.
Recertify as needed
You must renew your Scrum Master certification every two years, which incurs a $100 recertification fee. You also need 20 Scrum Educational Units (SEU) to renew your certification. Every hour spent on continuing education earns you one SEU. SEUs fall into the following four subcategories:
Reading articles, watching webinars, attending events, enrolling in classes, and volunteering are just a few ways to earn SEU. If you are unsure of what matters for SEUs, you can refer to the crowdsourced list of SEU resources published by Scrum Alliance.
Benefits of Obtaining the Scrum Master Certification
The demand for scrum masters continues to rise as teams need skilled and skilled workers who can oversee and execute various projects within the agile framework. As a CSM, you can familiarize yourself with the different parts and tools of the Scrum framework and its best practices. It prepares you to complete project tasks and cultivate success.
Read on to find out some of the benefits of getting CSM certification.
Learn to use Scrum
The certification process allows you to expand your knowledge of Scrum, including how to effectively apply the Scrum framework and theories when managing large teams across multiple departments and organizational levels. Working professionals who earn the CSM certification develop the skills necessary to implement streamlined methods and well-informed strategies in environments that use the agile framework.
Expand your job opportunities
Earning the Scrum Master certification can set you apart from the competition and give you an edge in your field when applying for jobs. Job recruiters and organizations hold the CSM title in high regard.
The CSM designation can boost your resume or CV by letting potential employers know that you have the skills, knowledge, and experience to contribute to positive organizational change, successfully lead agile teams, and fulfill an organization’s goals and the responsibilities of Scrum Master.
Scrum Master Certification Potential Salary
Several factors can affect the potential salary of a CSM, including location, employer, and relevant work experience. Payscale reports that the average salary for certified scrum masters exceeds $95,000 per year. Even entry-level CSMs average over $70,000 per year.
With years of experience, experienced CSMs earn an average annual salary of over $113,000.
Scrum Master Certification Options
This article focuses on CSM credentials, but there are also other Scrum Master certifications to choose from. These include: