How to Become a Scrum Master
To produce and deliver products of the highest possible value, you must be able to help teams deliver products in short cycles, enabling fast feedback, continual improvement, and rapid adaption to change. If that sounds a lot like the definition of how to become a Scrum Master to you, then you’re already on the right track to becoming a Certified Scrum Master (CSM).
Becoming a Scrum Master isn’t hard, but successfully leading your team under the principles of Scrum takes commitment, courage, and focus. The requirements to become a CSM give you the ability to do exactly that.
On this page:
- What is a Certified Scrum Master?
- Requirements to Become a Certified Scrum Master
- What do I need to do before taking a CSM course?
- What is a Certified Scrum Master Course?
- The Certified Scrum Master Exam
- How long does it take to become a Certified Scrum Master?
- How much does a Certified ScrumMaster make?
- What is the cost of a CSM Certification?
- Are you ready to become a Certified ScrumMaster?
What is a Certified Scrum Master?
Every agile development team needs a ScrumMaster in order to be successful. As a Certified Scrum Master, you will be properly prepared to facilitate your team and increase the chances of your team’s success. A Scrum Master is not a project manager or a project leader but rather a “servant leader” who’s dedicated to helping the team succeed within the Scrum framework. A Scrum Master has many responsibilities including helping the teamwork together and protecting the team from distractions that can derail your productivity. There are also a lot of benefits to being a CSM such as expanding your career opportunities and engaging with other Scrum experts.
What are the requirements to become a Certified Scrum Master?
There are three steps you must complete to become a Certified ScrumMaster:
What do I need to do before taking a CSM course?
Before attending a CSM course, it’s necessary to properly prepare by fully familiarizing yourself with Scrum theory and principles. A Certified Scrum Master course typically begins with a short quiz to validate that you are ready to begin the CSM training process. To pass this quiz, you need to complete the Scrum Foundations eLearning Series, a series of videos that introduces you to Scrum Theory, Scrum Roles, Scrum Events, and Scrum Artifacts. You also should download and read the official Scrum Guide and be familiar with the Agile Manifesto. Completing these prerequisites is essential if you want to succeed in your CSM course.
What is a Certified Scrum Master Course?
CSM certification requires an in-person, two-day course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer. The course provides an overview of the Scrum framework and prepares you to take on the Scrum Master role. You will learn about Agile, Scrum Events, Scrum Artifacts, and Scrum Roles through exercises, discussions, and case studies based on real-world experience.
After completing the course, you will be eligible for Scrum Master certification with the Scrum Alliance pending your CSM exam results. Certified Scrum Master courses also include a two-year membership with the Scrum Alliance where you will have exclusive access to valuable materials and resources.
What is the Certified Scrum Master Exam?
The CSM exam is an online test consisting of 35 multiple-choice questions. You must get at least 24 questions correct in order to pass and earn your certification. When you take the test is up to you, but it must be after you’ve completed your CSM course. The Scrum Alliance allows you to take the test at no cost up to two times. If you do not pass the second time, you will be charged a small fee for each subsequent attempt. You will be able to see which questions you answer incorrectly, but you will not be given the answers. It’s important for you not only to research any questions missed but also to make sure that your study habits are sound. Research will help ensure the best possible outcome on the Scrum Master Certification exam!
How long does it take to become a Certified Scrum Master?
The required CSM course lasts 16 hours. However, many people need to spend time studying in addition to the two days spent in training. You’ll most likely want to invest time studying and reviewing the pre-requisite materials to ensure you’re well prepared for the class. After you’ve completed the course, you’ll need to take the CSM exam online. Although the course will give you the tools and knowledge required to pass the exam, you may want to spend additional time reviewing the course materials and your notes before taking the test. Based on course availability, it may take weeks or months before you become certified, so be sure to plan accordingly. Becoming a Scrum Master will take time and effort, but the journey is worth it!
How much does a Certified ScrumMaster make?
The demand for Scrum Masters is definitely on the rise! Glassdoor’s recent report revealed that the average salary for a Certified Scrum Master in America is $98,000. LinkedIn ranked being a Scrum Master as one of their top 10 promising jobs with 67% growth from 2016 to 2017. It looks like this industry offers some great opportunities and it’s worth looking into
What is the cost of a CSM Certification?
After you enroll in our 2-day course, you will receive an introduction email to the Scrum Alliance program with two free opportunities to take your CSM exam within 90 days. You’ll become a Certified Scrum Master once you pass the CSM exam. If for some reason that doesn’t work out and you fail both attempts in this time frame, there’s a $25 charge per additional attempt. Professional certifications need to be renewed every 2 years. To renew, CSMs must complete 20 SEUs and pay a $100 fee to Scrum Alliance. You can find additional information about the cost for our CSM courses and availability here.
Are you ready to become a Certified ScrumMaster?
If you’re ready to help your team and advance your career, then it’s time to become a Certified ScrumMaster. Register for your CSM certification course today and start preparing for success.
Have additional questions about the Certified ScrumMaster certification? Read Q&As from a recent CSM course, or leave a comment below.
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Elizabeth Larson, PMP, CBAP, CSM is a consultant and advisor for Watermark Learning/PMA. She has over 35 years of experience in project management and business analysis.
Elizabeth has co-authored four books and chapters published in five additional books, as well as articles that appear regularly in BA Times, Project Times, and Modern Analyst. Elizabeth was a lead author/expert reviewer on all editions of the BABOK® Guide, as well as the several of the PMI standards.
Elizabeth also enjoys giving presentations, and her speaking history includes repeat keynotes and presentations for national and international conferences on five continents. Elizabeth enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, theater, and spending time with her 7 grandkids.