September 15, 2009
Racecar drivers may be the star of their event, but they depend on support from many others—including some workers who aren't on the track.
A variety of workers contribute to the excitement of race day. The pit crew is a vital part of the racing team. These workers take care of the racecar's mechanical needs during pit stops. Mechanics are members of the pit crew. All racecars start in the workshop—more commonly known as the "shop"—and end up back there. In-shop workers include mechanical engineers, mechanics, fabricators, and painters.
Businesses involved in the operation of auto races—including racing teams—are classified within the spectator sports industry. However, this industry also includes nonracing sports businesses.
Because employees of racing teams are classified within the spectator sports industry, wages for racing-related occupations within that industry are the best approximation of wages for those in the auto racing industry. For example, automotive service technicians and mechanics employed in the spectator sports industry have median annual earnings of $51,160.
These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more about auto racing careers, see "Careers in auto racing: Work in the fast lane," by William Lawhorn in Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Fall 2009.