How to Become a Racecar Driver

Racecar Driver Key Stats
Education 0-6 Months
Job Outlook 7%

Racecar Drivers are professionals who use their skills, talents and love of excitement in order to enter racing competitions.

Racecar tracks and competitions may vary in time duration and distance.

A racecar driver will need to practice their routines and skills in order to win races.

Winning a competition will lead to earning the competition’s purse money which is the primary source of income for racecar drivers racing full time.

One aspect that helps a Racecar Driver win competitions is the assistance of an experienced Pit Stop Crew.

An efficient Pit Stop Crew will perform quick maintenance and routine care on a racecar during a competition.

The typical pit stop may last a matter of seconds because this type of maintenance affects the total completion time of a race.

Education Requirements to Become a Racecar Driver

There isn’t a specific educational track to follow in order to become a Racecar Driver .

However, there are several organizations that provide sports racing classes.

Some organizations require students to have their own racing car while professional organizations can rent useful autos and equipment.

Organizations may also differ on the type of training they offer.

For example, some organizations may offer lessons on drag racing while others may focus on a different specialty.

A candidate who wants to become a Racecar Driver should decide on the kind of racecar driving they want to specialize in before joining a program or beginning training.

Candidates who pursue their racecar driving career independently will need to find a racecar track to fine-tune their innate driving capabilities.

Racecar Drivers do more than circling a track in a high speed atmosphere.

They must use a variety of skills in order to do this in an efficient and safe manner.

Whether candidates pursue this career by joining a professional organization or practicing on their own, they should focus on perfecting the following skills in order to succeed in this career.

Candidates should work on their attention to detail skills.

This is important in order to be aware of other drivers on the track and the track conditions.

They must also know how to perform under pressure and make decisions in a quick manner.

Making quick decisions about speed, how to maneuver a bend and when to shift gears or brake are all important factors in winning races and staying safe.

Drivers must also practice speeding and passing up a competitor while keeping all others at bay.

This isn’t’ necessarily a career track that requires book smarts, but one that builds upon inborn skills and tactics that are gained by practicing on a track and analyzing performances.

Racecar Driver Job Description

A Racecar Driver is responsible for practicing their driving techniques in order to outperform other racers on the track during races.

Even though some races may be short, a racecar driver will need to gain skills that allow them to maneuver at high speeds while circling bends and using skills in order to prevent accidents.

A racecar driver may decide to practice on a certain type of driving.

The specific kinds of racecar driving that some drivers may specialize include drag racing, stock racing and open wheel racing.

A Racecar Driver may use a variety of skills during a competition such as shifting gears and braking at appropriate times in order to win races.

In addition, successful Racecar Drivers may be asked to sign sponsorship contracts and fulfill their duties such as making public appearances.

Racecar Driver Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t provide wage and salary information for Racecar Drivers.

However, the organization does provide salary information on several other careers in the auto racing industry.

Auto racing maintenance workers earn a median wage of approximately $23,780 per year while the median wages for First line supervisors and Managers was approximately $67,960 per year.

A Racecar Driver’s earnings will be in the same range.

A Racecar Driver’s yearly salary and earnings will also depend on a variety of factors including the type of motor racing they specialize in, the type of prize money they seek, whether they are professional or amateur competitors and the amount of competitions they participate in.

The career outlook for someone who wants to become a Racecar Driver requires a lot of patience and love for the sport because of its competitive nature.

Entry into any professionals sport is difficult because of the extremely tough competition.

A candidate must have the passion and skills in order to pursue a career in this field and remain competitive in it.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Passenger Vehicle Drivers, OCC Code 53-3050, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a racecar driver do?

A racecar driver is someone who makes his or her living by competing in motor races.

There are a lot of different types of motor racing – drag racing, rallying, grand touring, cross country, and, of course, Formula 1.

As a racecar driver, you would have to spend plenty of time ensuring that your body is in peak condition; gathering a team of professionals around you; working with your team to analyze maps of the circuit; making sure that the car is in peak condition as well; working with the technical team; planning your tactics for the race, and so on.

Do bear in mind that motor racing can be dangerous; so think about that before deciding to choose this sport as your career.

How much do racecar drivers make?

On average, a racecar driver can make a little more than $50.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $26.000 and $95.000 and more annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your performance, the prestige of the competition, and so on.

If you are competing in an entry-level race, you can earn anywhere between $5.000 and $7.000 per race (mostly – through sponsorship).

Once you make it to the well-publicized races, you will be able to make $125.000-$200.000 per race.

How much does it cost to become a racecar driver?

There are no specific academic requirements to become a racecar driver.

You can start from driving a go-kart; one session will cost you around $20-$30.

If you decide to get serious about your karting, check your local race track and ask about how you can get involved.

Attend race car driving classes (the lessons can cost you anywhere between $1.000 and $1.800 per day).

Join the Sports Car Club of America for $90; you might want to buy your own race car (that would certainly be a splurge!).

What is the demand for racecar drivers?

Between 2012 and 2022, the athletes and sports competitors (racecar drivers included) job markets are expected to grow by 7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is a little slower than the national average for all occupations in the United States.

Bear in mind that the competition for the job is extremely high (there are around 30-40 spots for new professional drivers in higher-level races in the USA each year).

How long does it take to become a racecar driver?

A racing class can take you only a day; after that, you will be able to understand whether you like racing or not.

To join the Sports Car Club of America, you would have to fill in a form, pay the fee, and get a physical from the doctor.

After that, you can start participating in SCCA sanctioned events.

Of course, you would have to spend plenty of time training and ensuring that you are in a great physical form.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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