In a high-speed, high-risk sport like NASCAR racing, in which drivers race around a track at up to 200 mph, it's critical to have well-trained professional officials at the ready. NASCAR race officials help ensure the safety of drivers by inspecting cars and enforcing rules and guidelines that racing teams must follow. For NASCAR fiends with a knack for mechanics and in-depth automotive knowledge, a career as a NASCAR race official can be invigorating and fulfilling.
NASCAR race officials are responsible for making sure that each race goes as smoothly and safely as possible. They do this by examining, testing, measuring and weighing vehicles to ensure that each vehicle is qualified to compete in NASCAR races. Race officials use a set of highly technical templates to determine whether cars are fit to drive or not.
In addition to inspecting the cars, NASCAR officials enforce thousands of guidelines that all racing teams must follow to avoid penalties and fines; this ensures universal fairness among teams and maintains a level playing field. Race officials monitor and officiate each race and communicate via radio throughout; they serve as referees during the race and watch closely to make sure that teams are adhering to NASCAR rules during the entire race.
Though you don't necessarily have to obtain a bachelor's degree to become a NASCAR official, the company does offer a training program for its officials and inspectors at its Mooresville, NC, campus. Called the NASCAR Technical Institute, this is the only educational provider for NASCAR and the only campus in the country to offer NASCAR-endorsed training.
The 15-week program is specifically designed to train and recruit new officials as positions become available; you'll be trained in NASCAR pit crew essentials, engines, welding, aerodynamics and much more. Sample courses include NASCAR Engines I and II, NASCAR Pit Crew and Advanced Fabrication and Aerodynamics. Each student graduates with either a diploma or an Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) degree, with the possibility of earning additional certificates.
In addition, it's highly recommended that you speak with NASCAR personnel if you're seriously interested in becoming a race official. Contact the headquarters to speak with a representative and gain firsthand knowledge of what it takes to become a new official.
A NASCAR race official could begin their career by working in a non-racing official position. You could also find employment with small teams or racetracks that aren't affiliated with NASCAR and work your way up from there. Budding officials could find entry-level NASCAR pit crew jobs to get their feet wet, as well.
Once in the industry, race officials serve as referees and inspectors. They conduct pre and post-race inspections, enforce NASCAR rules, stay on top of any technical changes, and even, in some cases, help build engines that compete in NASCAR-sanctioned races. A skilled race official doesn't have to stick to NASCAR official jobs, of course; there are plenty of opportunities and room for growth in other related fields.
Years of Experience and Salary
While specific salary information for NASCAR race officials is unavailable, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, auto service technicians and mechanics for all industries made around $40,710 per year. A typical NASCAR race official salary could be similar to this.
Job Growth Trend
While there isn't data available for NASCAR official jobs, the existing data for mechanics and auto technicians are similar to that of NASCAR jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is expected to grow by about 6 percent from 2016 to 2020. This is about as fast as the average growth rate for all occupations, so job opportunities are considered to be good for those in the field.