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Motorsport engineer

Alternative titles for this job include

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

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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 in a related engineering subject.

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

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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a motorsport engineer working in design, testing or production, you may:

  • assess new ideas by looking at performance, strength, costs and safety
  • design prototypes with computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • test components and bodywork 
  • test working models on the track 
  • build production models and carrying out quality control checks
  • 'finish' vehicles with the team's colours and sponsorship logos

As a motorsport engineer working in racing, you may :

  • set up vehicles to suit track and weather conditions
  • monitor engine speed and other data during races
  • fine tune the vehicle and send technical instructions to the driver or rider
  • carry 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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Engineering Apprentice

  • Wage: £16,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Stafford

Courses In England

Automotive and Motorsport Engineering Technology - Foundation Degree

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2022
  • Location: Blackpool

Engineering - Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma

  • Provider: RIVERSIDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: WIDNES

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