Pit Crew Jobs
Race fans are envious of them. Drivers rely on them. They make the difference between 1st and 10th place in any major motor sports race. They are a highly trained, well-oiled machine. It's the pit crew.
During a race, the pit crew is responsible for changing tires, refueling, adjusting aerodynamics, checking and repairing parts, and getting the driver back on course in a matter of seconds. Every level of car racing relies on pit crews.
Each team is different, but they all consist of several jobs. The crew chief runs the show.
A professional pit crew can change all four tires, refuel, adjust aerodynamics, and get a NASCAR champion moving again in under 15 seconds. It's impressive. Think about how long it takes to change only one tire.
For every race, the pit crew forms a strategy. They consider the racetrack, the competition, fuel consumption, fuel weight, cornering speed, rate of tire wear, effect of tire wear, length of pit road, and the changing weather and lighting conditions. With this information they can plan the best, most efficient pit stops on pit road.
Pit stops are crucial for any race. When you consider that a car traveling at 100 miles per hour covers 150 feet per second - that means that a 15 second pit stop can put a driver nearly a quarter mile behind. Luckily, the pit stop makes the car more efficient - better cornering and correct fuel capacity. Pit crews have their jobs down to a science.
Every race fan wants to work on pit road because the pit crew are the true heroes of racing. They are agile, strong, determined, and fearless. To join a pit crew you need experience. Start by working at the local track. Then work up to the big leagues. It will take time.
Another option is to attend a race performance training school like Performance, Instruction, and Training (PIT) school. They cover pit stops, fabrication, chassis set up, mechanics, shock building, suspension, geometry, and aerodynamics. The training last 6 to 14 weeks and is hands on. Some schools even offer job placement.
Pit crews work long days in the hot sun. They lift 80-pound gas cans and change 70-pound tires in less than 8 seconds. Working on pit road is dangerous work too. Cars drive away before refueling is finished.
Next time you are at a Formula-1 race watch the pit crew at work. It's a perfect choreographed maneuver. The team performs their duties spectacularly quick. This is why they can make $35,000 to $90,000 per year depending on what level and type of racing they are working with. They can make more if their team wins a race series.
A reliable pit crew is one of the most valuable things a racecar driver and team can have. Mistakes can make or break any race. If you're a race fan and love it when cars hit pit road, look into working on a pit crew with the fast and the furious.
Quick Facts About Pit Crew Jobs
Job Title: Pit Crew
Office: Pit road at motor sports race courses
Description: Change tires, refuel, adjust aerodynamics, check parts and get driver going as fast as possible
Certifications/Education: No formal education required, Pit crew training recommended
Necessary Skills: Strong, agile, competitive
Potential Employers: Racing Teams
Pay: $35,000 to $90,000 per year, depends on level of racing and team's performance