Imagine making split-second decisions topping speeds well over 200 mph. This is the job of a race car driver. Race car drivers entertain crowds by driving at top speeds and racing to the finish line. The spectator sport of automobile racing employs a number of individuals who ensure that the race car driver is able to successfully perform. When the driver is racing, he is not only showcasing his efforts, but the efforts of his entire team.
A race car driver is an individual who drives a race car.
Race car drivers also have numerous non-driving commitments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “drivers don’t just drive; they also make special appearances to promote their team, sponsors, and racing organization."
There are no specific education requirements to become a race car driver, although according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “drivers must complete courses to get licensed in operating high-speed vehicles.” Additional, specialized schooling to continue developing driving skills may be required.
Drivers are expected to have experience racing at the grassroots level. NASCAR, for example, encourages applicants for its Driver Development Program to have “experience competing on asphalt or dirt in go-karts, sprint cars, legends cars and/or stock cars (late model, modified, super stock, etc).” In addition to excellent driving skills, race car drivers should also have excellent reflexes, communication skills, vision, quick decision-making skills, and be self-motivated.
Race car drivers work in a fast-paced environment. The tracks on which they competitively drive range from rural to modern speedways.
Simply Hired lists the average salary for a race car driver as $35,000 but states that “average professional race car driver salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits.” However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists no average salary for race car drivers. In fact, BLS states that the spectator sports industry keeps this information classified, so no “employment and wage data specific to occupations in auto racing” is readily available. Many race car drivers earn large salaries that are determined by their number of wins, popularity and endorsements.
Automobile racing is a dangerous industry for anyone who works on the race track. The risk is amplified for the race car driver. If you are interested in becoming a race car driver, consider how the risk factor will be accepted by your friends and loved ones.