Motorsport Engineer

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Automotive & Aviation

What you will do:

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


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently (for example (CAD)

As well as:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • problem-solving skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative & be adaptable
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • ability to work as part of a team (teamwork skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Motorsport Engineer, you should pursue a strong educational background in engineering and related subjects. While there are no specific requirements for this career path, you should focus on subjects that will prepare you for further education and training in engineering and motorsport. Here’s a list of subjects and skills that can be beneficial:

  1. Mathematics: Mathematics is essential, as it forms the foundation for engineering calculations and problem-solving.
  2. Science: Physics and/or Chemistry can provide valuable insights into the principles of mechanics, thermodynamics, and materials science, which are all relevant to motorsport engineering.
  3. Design and Technology: Taking Design and Technology or a related subject can help you develop practical skills and an understanding of engineering design principles.
  4. Computer Science or ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computers and software is crucial for modern motorsport engineering, which often relies on computer-aided design (CAD) and simulation software.
  5. English: Strong communication skills are important for working in a team and conveying technical information effectively.
  6. Physical Education (PE): While not a strict requirement, taking PE can help you maintain physical fitness and gain an understanding of the importance of physical conditioning in motorsport.

Post School

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 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 (in the UK) as these provide opportunities to get an insight into motorsport engineering, and to start to build contacts.

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

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.

Working Hours and 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 & 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, in the UK, to the Engineering Council.