A Pit Crew Member is part of a group of specialists that makes sure a race car is working in perfect condition during a race.
Each Crew Member is responsible for performing quick maintenance procedures that will help the racecar function efficiently and fast in order to win the race.
Because a racecar driver is trying to complete a race in first place, a Pit Crew that is efficient and speedy that works is of extreme importance.
Delegating specific functions to crew members ensures that the racecar is receiving full service under a matter of seconds.
In fact, the average stay at the pit stop station is approximately 15 seconds.
The following is a list of pit crew members that work together to achieve record time auto service:
- Crew chief
- Pit coach
- Gas person
- Jack operator
- Scorer and Spotter
- Windshield cleaner
- Tire Carrier, changer and catcher
Learn how to become a Pit Crew Member by reading the educational and training requirements listed below.
You will also find information regarding salary and wages, how to advance in the field and a general job description regarding some important Pit Crew Members.
Education Requirements to Become a Pit Crew Member
The educational requirements to become a Pit Crew Member depend on the specialty a candidate wants to focus on.
For professionals specializing in Mechanical Engineering, candidates must complete a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in that specialty.
Only a handful of university and college programs offer Mechanical Engineering courses specializing in the automotive profession.
Candidates who want to become a Pit Crew Member specializing as Mechanic are required to gain a complete understanding of auto engines, mechanical technology and transmission problems.
This knowledge can be gained through experience or by attending a vocational or technical school.
Under a mechanical program, students will learn racecar maintenance and repair work.
For all other position in a Pit Crew, candidates can also gain experience and an understanding of racecars by attending a vocational or technical school.
During a program, students should learn mechanical technology, mathematics, car engines and the technological equipment used to diagnose and test engines.
They must also know the basics regarding engine maintenance and repairs.
Pit Crew Member Job Description
The most popular professional racing organization is NASCAR; however there are a variety of competitive organizations.
A Pit Crew Member specializes in one maintenance and repair aspect during an auto race.
The Pit Crew’s main objective is to perform maintenance and repair as quickly as possible in order to not affect the driver’s completed track time.
The following are typical Pit Crew Members and their obligations during a race:
- Crew chief: Prepares and organizes for a race
- Pit coach: Manages, prepares and practices pit stops during and ahead of time
- Gas person: Measures how much fuel a racecar has and fills the tank according to measurements
- Jack operator: Uses the jack in order to change tires and look underneath
- Scorer and Spotter: Figures out the driver’s speed and lap time
- Mechanic: Assures engine, transmission, power train and tire alignment are appropriate
- Windshield cleaner: Cleans windshield to promote visibility
- Tire Carrier, changer and catcher: Provides replacement tires to tire changer and helps replace them
Pit Crew Member Salary and Career Path
The exact wage and salary for a Pit Crew Member will depend on the role they play in the group.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median wage for Installation, Maintenance and Repair workers was approximately $23,780 in 2008.
For higher level and more experienced, the median wage improved.
In 2008, the median wage for first line supervisors and mechanics was approximately $67,970 per year while the median wage for Auto Technicians and Mechanics was about $51,000 per year.
A Pit Crew Member who begins as a maintenance and repair worker can move up the ranks and eventually become a Mechanic or Supervisor.
Advancement in this career will depend heavily on making connections by networking and gaining experience.
Pit Crew Members who want to work for a professional organization, such as a team racing for NASCAR, their career can be affected by moving to Charlotte, North Carolina where the majority of team shops are located.