Motorsport engineers design, build and test racing cars and bikes.
Salary range: £18,000 to £50,000
How to become a motorsport engineer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You’ll usually need to complete a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree. Relevant engineering courses include:
It’s useful to look for courses that include work placements with manufacturers and suppliers.
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could train through a degree apprenticeship as a manufacturing engineer.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
Volunteering and experience
Volunteering at motorsport event is a good way to make contacts in the industry and to get yourself known. Volunteers in Motorsport and British Motorsports Marshals Club have lots of ways you can get involved.
Attending motorsport shows is a good way to meet employers, ask questions and to find out exactly which skills and experience they’re looking for.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- analytical thinking skills
- customer service skills
- persistence and determination
- the ability to work well with others
- problem-solving skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
As a motorsport engineer working in design, testing or production, your day-to-day duties may include:
- assessing new ideas by looking at performance, strength, costs and safety
- designing prototypes with computer-aided design (CAD) software
- testing components and bodywork
- testing working models on the track
- building production models and carrying out quality control checks
- ‘finishing’ vehicles with the team’s colours and sponsorship logos
As a motorsport engineer working in racing, your day-to-day duties may include:
- setting up vehicles to suit track and weather conditions
- monitoring engine speed and other data during races
- fine tuning the vehicle and sending technical instructions to the driver or rider
- carrying out ‘after-tests’ on vehicles after a race to look for signs of damage
You could work at a car manufacturing plant, at a garage or in a laboratory.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could specialise in a particular engineering field, like engine transmission or electronics.
You could also progress to test or workshop manager, chief engineer, technical coordinator or technical manager.
You could also work towards incorporated or chartered engineer status by applying to the Engineering Council.