A motorsport technical manager is responsible for the mechanical set-up of racing vehicles to ensure that they deliver their optimum performance on the racetrack. The role involves implementing new technology in race cars and making minute adjustments to their specifications in order to give the car’s driver the best possible chance of winning the race.

What do you need to have studied?

In order to work in this highly competitive field, you will usually need to have completed a degree in the field of engineering, particularly mechanical or automotive engineering. Some employers may prefer students with a degree accredited by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, or from a university that is well regarded for its engineering courses, but this is not essential.

It has recently become possible to pursue a career in the industry without taking a degree, through organisations such as the National College for Motorsport. They offer hands-on training and work experience specifically geared towards careers in motor sport for students with at least 4 GCSEs.

How do you get a job?

As with any career in motorsport, there is plenty of competition for those looking for a job as a technical manager for a race team. Gaining relevant experience with a local racing team or as a vehicle technician in a garage is vital, so it is a good idea to try and get some form of work experience while studying.

Helping to run a small team at weekends will give you a valuable insight into how the profession works; most crucially it will show potential employers that you are serious about a career in motorsport.

Is there an interview process?

Most jobs in the industry are filled through making contacts within teams and displaying a high level of aptitude whilst on work placements, so an interview is not normally required.

What are the opportunities for career progression?

There is a multitude of different motorsport competitions in the UK and abroad, from Go Karting to Formula One. As a technical manager you will be able to move between these different divisions in a similar fashion to the drivers whose cars you are working on.

What’s the salary?

A newly qualified engineer on a small race team can expect to earn between £15,000 and £20,000 per year. Depending on the team you work for and your experience, this can rise to between £21,000 and £40,000 per year; those working in the upper echelons of the business can expect to earn considerably more.

What benefits are there?

For those who love motor vehicles and have a desire to discover how they work, a career as a technical manager offers the chance to manipulate the dynamics at the core of some of the most complex cars in the world in pursuit of perfecting their performance.

What are the toughest parts of the job?

The most problematic aspect of starting a career in motorsport is getting into the industry in the first place. There is no simple way around this, so the best advice for students is to apply to as many places as possible and follow up these applications with phone calls.