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Motorsports Careers Guide

Careers in motorsports

The world of motorsports is like no other. From the thrill of race day to the training that happens off the track, a career in motorsports is exhilarating and rewarding, especially for the competitors. But there’s more to the industry than just driving.

From specialist jobs like mechanics and engineers to data analysts, PR professionals and events managers, there’s a whole range of other roles for people who are passionate about motorsports.

Unlike driving, which can be an expensive career path that typically you need to start from a young age, these other roles are much more accessible, providing a way for anyone to get into the industry regardless of their background. Plus, while the numbers of female drivers out there are still comparatively low, these trackside and behind-the-scenes roles are a great way for women to get into motorsports, carving out a space for everyone in the industry.

To help you step into this exciting world, we’ve put together some tips and advice about how to get into motorsports. From picking the right qualifications to volunteering positions, we take a look at the different roles and pathways on offer so you can start planning your career in motorsports.

Jane Sophia on the track

How to get in to motorsports

So, you know you want a career in motorsports, but where do you start? With so many roles to choose from, there’s a range of ways into motorsports. Even if you have your eye on a particular position, just getting some exposure to the industry is a great way to start.

We spoke to Jane Sophia, a volunteer pit lane marshal from the Midlands, about how she got into her career in motorsports. Below are her top tips for getting started in this industry.

Shop around

Whether you’re interested in driving or a trackside role, it’s a good idea to do your research and be open to a range of opportunities rather than just looking into the biggest names in the industry from the start.

“There are so many ways into motorsport, particularly driving” Jane says. “From the Caterham Academy to Porsche scholarships, don't look at F1 and karting, see the price and leave it there - push, keep looking, do your research and follow your passion."

Try different roles

While you may have your heart set on a particular career, applying for a range of positions can be a good way to get your foot in the door and build up to your dream role. Jane got her start by volunteering as a marshal and recommends this route to others:

“You can become a cadet marshal from a young age. [While] it's restricted and you can't go into the pit lane or out on track until you're older, being around the sport gives you such a fantastic insight and you get to meet so many people - I've made friends from marshals, to teams, to drivers.”

Jane Sophia quote: You have to have that passion, that drive, it's all or nothing

Remember your passion

Jane’s final tip is to lean on your passion. A love of motorsports is what everyone looking for a job in the industry shares and remembering why you’re applying for these roles will help you stay motivated and push yourself.

“As silly as it sounds, enjoy motorsport. You have to have that passion, that drive, it’s all or nothing in any discipline [in this industry].”

Alongside keeping these tips in mind, there are some other practical things you can do to pursue a career in motorsports.


If you’re interested in a more technical trackside role, studying and earning a qualification can be the key to kickstarting your career.

For example, jobs in motorsports engineering, such as those involving designing, testing and improving racing vehicles, require credentials like a bachelor/master’s degree in motorsports or automotive engineering. You can also take an apprenticeship and earn your qualifications as you work.

Alternatively, degrees in electronic and mechanical engineering can also open the door to more careers in racing, like being part of a pit crew.

While there are technical jobs in motorsports that don’t require a specific qualification, most will look for people with automotive or engineering knowledge. So, getting a degree in a relevant subject is a great way to show this and set yourself apart in a pretty competitive field.


Volunteering is the perfect way to learn about the industry, make contacts and build your experience quickly. It’s also ideal for those wanting to soak up the race day atmosphere, as you’ll get to spend time at races and in the paddock right after you get your licence.

There are plenty of volunteer positions to try, from hands-on technical support to safety-focused jobs.

Here's a bit more information about four of the most common roles:

Jane Sophia standing next to a car

Volunteer roles in motorsports


Scrutineers check racing vehicles, making sure they meet technical regulations to keep drivers safe and that the races are fair.

Once you apply to be a scrutineer, you’ll take training to get your licence and be mentored by senior scrutineers who’ll guide you through the different disciplines.

No experience is needed, but some training in engineering or another technical field can help your application. Scrutineering is also a great option if you’re working towards a job in motorsports engineering as you’ll gain plenty of hands-on experience with the vehicles.


Marshals play an essential role in keeping everyone safe on and off the tracks. Some of their responsibilities include dealing with any collisions, flagging hazards to drivers and making sure they get out onto the track safely in the first place.

While you can sign up to volunteer as a marshal with no experience, you’ll need to undergo some training before you can start. Most organisations offer free training to get you started and help you complete your accreditation. Once you’ve done your initial training, there are also opportunities to travel and progress, giving you the chance to marshal at major events like the F1 British Grand Prix.

Rescue Crews

Rescue crew members are the ones who provide medical facilities for drivers after an incident on the track. They work with doctors and paramedics to get the drivers to safety and treat anyone who becomes trapped in their car.

As with other roles, volunteer rescue crew members must  complete training to become fully licenced and you’ll need to take assessments every three years to keep your licence.

When you apply for your Trainee licence, you’ll need some race/trackside experience, like a background in marshalling. First Aid training and endorsement from a Crew Chief of an existing Rescue Unit can also help you get started and get a Trainee licence.


Like the title suggests, timekeepers record competitors’ times and positions and are key players in determining the results of a race.

Alongside simple stopwatches, timekeepers use advanced systems to measure race times to the nearest thousandth of a second and get the most accurate results.

To work up to using these systems, you’ll start as a trainee, completing training to progress and get your licence. In the UK, you can start your training when you’re 16, but you’ll only be able to get your full licence at 18.

These are just a handful of the volunteering positions you could try and if you’re interested in taking this route into motorsports, head to your local motor club and ask how you can get involved.

Jane Sophia Quote: I've found an incredible and supportive community

A volunteer's experience

The above are just a handful of the volunteering positions you could try. If you’re interested in taking this route into motorsports, head to your local motor club and ask how you can get involved.

Jane Sophia spoke to us about her experience volunteering:

“[We got] tickets for the truck racing at Donington, arrived quite early (very excited!) and got chatting to marshals having breakfast, they were so lovely and excited and took us straight to sign up for a taster day. Follow this with trying it out, fire training, and getting into the pit lane - I've never looked back and truly feel like I've found an incredible and supportive community.”

Stay up to date with industry news

Our final tip for getting started in the motorsports industry is to keep an eye on the news. The landscape of motorsport is constantly evolving, with new changes in technology and sustainability revolutionising the sport every day.

Being aware of these updates and changes can help you on your career path in two main ways. The first is helping you decide which roles you’re interested in as you gain exposure to the range of responsibilities and positions behind the competitions. The second is the way it can bolster your applications as you can combine your passion with a real knowledge of the industry.

Keeping up to date with industry trends and news can also be vital for a marketing or PR career in motorsports. These roles cover a range of responsibilities from managing brand partnerships to helping teams get the best exposure, so knowing who’s who and what’s going on in the world of motorsports can be a big help.

Discover more

While motorsports is an extremely competitive industry to get into, there are plenty of roles available aside from driving that let you combine your profession with your passion for racing.

Want to learn more about the world of motorsports? Take a look at our video about women in racing, and read about Avis’s partnership with the World Endurance Championships.