Motorsport engineer

Motorsport engineers design, build and test racing cars and bikes.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become a motorsport engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You'll usually need to complete a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree. Relevant engineering courses include:

  • motorsport
  • automotive
  • electronic
  • mechanical

It's useful to look for courses that include work placements with manufacturers and suppliers.

There are schemes like Formula Student and Greenpower that are aimed at people who want to get into motorsport engineering.

Entry requirements

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

More information

Apprenticeship

You could train through a degree apprenticeship as a manufacturing engineer.

Entry requirements

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

More information

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.

More information

Career tips

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.

Further information

You can get more advice about careers in motorsport from the Motorsport Industry Association and Your Future in Automotive.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

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.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Engineering Apprenticeship

  • Wage : Competitive salary
  • Location: Portsmouth PO3 5PQ

Machining Apprentice

  • Wage : £214.50 - £234.00 Weekly
  • Location: Ripley DE5 8JZ

Courses In England

L6 BSc (Hons) in Motorsport Engineering (Top Up) 1 Year

  • Provider: BROOKLANDS COLLEGE
  • Start date: 21 September 2020
  • Location: Weybridge

Automotive/Motorsport Engineering HNC (PU) Y1

  • Provider: Fareham College
  • Start date: 10 September 2020
  • Location: Lee On Solent

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