Agile is gaining increasing popularity in the IT industry. A report by the Scrum Guides website states that “Scrum has been adopted by a vast amount of software development companies around the world.” Some of the top companies where Scrum is applied include Ericsson, Microsoft, and Spotify. Scrum prevents project overrun, which causes more than 45% of budget overspending. Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM) are two popular Scrum Master certifications. Taking any of these certifications can help you expand your knowledge of the Scrum framework and its applications.  According to Payscale, the average salary of a CSM is $89,306. Likewise, according to Payscale, the average salary of a PSM level-I certified individual is $91,000.

Both the CSM and the PSM certifications have their own pros and cons and choosing the right certification for you depends on your career goals.


Let’s look at some of the primary differences between the Certified Scrum Master and the Professional Scrum Master certifications to make your choice easier.

Difference PointsCertified Scrum Master (CSM)Professional Scrum Master (PSM)
Accreditation body


The Certified Scrum Master certification is accredited by Scrum Alliance.The Professional Scrum Master certification is accredited by The certification has three levels, namely PSM I, PSM II, and PSM III.
PrerequisitesTo get the CSM certification, you need to attend an in-person, 16-hour course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). After completing the course, you need to pass the CSM exam.There is no specific requirement for taking the PSM certification level I exam. For PSM level II, it is recommended to clear the PSM level I. Likewise, for taking the PSM level III exam, learners are advised to attempt PSM level I & II certifications first.
Passing score


The minimum passing score for the CSM exam is 74%.For all three levels of PSM, the minimum pass score required is 85%.
Exam Pattern


The Certified Scrum Master exam is a multiple choice question type exam comprising  50 objective type questions. The exam can be taken online from your home.The Professional Scrum Master I, II, and III level exams have multiple choice and true/false questions.

In PSM 1, there are a total of 80 questions, while PSM II has 30 questions, and PSM III comprises 34 questions.

The PSM exam is taken online.

Exam Duration


The exam duration is one hour, and learners have the option to log out of the exam at any time and come back to continue the paper.The PSM I exam duration is one hour to complete 80 questions.

For PSM II, you get 90 minutes to complete the exam, and in PSM III, the time limit is 120 minutes.

Course Material


Owing to the numerous training institutes and courses available, the course material differs, but the syllabus prescribed by Scrum Alliance should be followed primarily.Owing to the numerous training institutes and courses available, the course material differs, but the syllabus prescribed by should be followed primarily.
Certificate Validity


The CSM certificate needs to be renewed every two years.The PSM certificate is valid for a lifetime.
Certification Cost


The average certification cost for a CSM certificate is $1200.For the PSM certification, the costs are as follows:

PSM I: $150

PSM II: $250

PSM III: $500

Number of attempts


There is no limit on the number of attempts to pass the CSM exam.There is no limit on the number of attempts to pass the PSM exam. For every attempt, an exam fee needs to be paid, as follows:

PSM I: $150

PSM II: $250

PSM III: $500

Difficulty of Assessment


CSM is comparatively easier to pass than PSM.While PSM level I is easier and can be attempted by beginners, PSM levels II & III are more difficult and need more preparation.
Renewal Price


A fee of $100 is charged for renewing the certificate every two years by the accreditation body Scrum Alliance There’s no renewal fee since the certificate is valid for life.


A 2-day CSM training gives you 14-16 PDUs and SEUs.2-day PSM training equals 14-16 PDUs and SEUs (Professionals Development Units).


Benefits of Getting a Scrum Master Certification

Scrum practices are being increasingly adopted by organizations since it helps to improve collaboration, speed, and communication in large and complex projects. Below are some benefits of getting a Scrum Master certification.

  • Allows you to get a thorough understanding of the skills and principles of Scrum.
  • The certification will open up more job opportunities since Scrum practices are used by many top companies.
  • With a Scrum certification, you can avoid challenges and obstacles that come with Agile implementation.
  • A primary skill gained with a Scrum certification is team collaboration, which has a positive effect on the organization as a whole. 

To Conclude

Both CSM and PSM certifications are highly compatible and have their own benefits. The originality and history of the CSM certification make it equal to the PSM certification.

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