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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)

£22,000 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 in an engineering subject like:

  • motorsport
  • automotive
  • electronic
  • mechanical

You can also gain relevant skills through related engineering courses like aeronautical or electronic engineering.

It's useful to look for courses that include work placements, internships or year in industry opportunities with manufacturers and suppliers.

Check if universities are involved in schemes like Formula Student and Greenpower as these provide opportunities to get an insight into motorsport engineering, and to start to build contacts.

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 start as an engineering technician apprentice and go on to train through a degree apprenticeship in a related engineering subject.

Relevant engineering apprenticeships include:

  • engineering technician advanced apprenticeship
  • manufacturing engineering technician advanced apprenticeship
  • electro-mechanical engineer degree apprenticeship
  • manufacturing engineer degree apprenticeship

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 events 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

A good way to meet employers is to attend motorsport shows. You can speak directly to recruiters to find out what skills and experience they're looking for.

Read motorsport magazines and follow companies on social media for news and job opportunities.

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
  • persistence and determination
  • problem-solving skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • 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 carry 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

Technical Support Engineer Apprentice

  • Wage: £10,004.80 Annually
  • Location: COWLING, KEIGHLEY

Multi Skilled Maintenance Engineer Apprentice - Electrical bias

  • Wage: £10,296.00 Annually
  • Location: Grange Mill Lane, Sheffield

Courses In England

Foundation Degree in Motorsport Engineering

  • Provider: BRIDGWATER AND TAUNTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 12 September 2023
  • Location: Bridgwater

Diploma in Engineering Technology - Motorsport Level 3

  • Provider: BOSTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 07 September 2023
  • Location: Boston

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