Should I Become a NASCAR Technician?
A National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) technician is an automotive service technician who performs a wide variety of repairs and maintenance-related work on the stock cars used in NASCAR races. These technicians may also build and test NASCAR engines, making sure they will reach optimal performance. Some successful NASCAR technicians may end up working in pit crews as well.
|Degree Level||Post-secondary certificate or associate's degree from a vocational school, college, or skilled trades program|
|Degree Field||Automotive service technology|
|Licensure and Certification||Licensure required if handling refrigerants; National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification not always required for entry-level employment but may be a mandatory requirement after hire|
|Experience||Variable, although 1-2 years of relevant work experience may be required; some positions may provide on-the-job training that counts as experience|
|Key Skills||Attention to detail, able to work well with hands, strong customer service and troubleshooting skills; thorough knowledge of engine components and various automotive systems; ablility to run and understand diagnostic equipment|
|Median Salary (2015)||$37,850 (for automotive service technicians)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Becoming a NASCAR Technician
Step 1: Complete Education
Individuals who show an interest in automotive service technology may wish to complete high school courses in auto repair, math, electronics, and computers in order to gain a solid background in the field. Upon graduation of high school or the equivalent, prospective NASCAR technicians may enroll in a post-secondary program that will earn them a certificate or associate's degree in automotive service technology. Vocational schools and community colleges around the nation offer automotive service technology certificate and associate's degree programs that are becoming essential for would-be technicians. A few vocational schools even offer specialized NASCAR training programs. These programs take about one to two years to complete and offer hands-on training and experience. Key courses in relevant programs can include automotive repair, electronics, computers, and diagnostic equipment use.
Step 2: Obtain Employment
Although some prospective technicians may find employment with NASCAR immediately after graduation from a post-secondary certificate or degree program, others may need to enter the racing industry after gaining experience elsewhere as competition can be stiff. To gain this experience, many individuals enter the workforce in trainee positions. These can include working as a technician helper or a lubrication worker in various automotive service-type settings. Trainees typically begin working on repairs and other advanced duties after a few months of professional experience.
Step 3: Consider Certification
Both NASCAR and ordinary automotive service technicians may consider certification, as it can increase employment opportunities and pay rates. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers numerous certifications in many specialty areas of automotive technology. To become certified through ASE, automotive service technicians must have two years of work experience and pass their certification exam(s). In order to keep their ASE credentials in good standing, automotive service technicians must recertify every five years.
Step 4: Consider Advancement with NASCAR
According to NASCAR, qualified automotive service technicians can pursue more advanced positions, like those in research and development or car design. They may also be successful in becoming members of NASCAR pit crews, which are very competitive positions. Through years of quality service, NASCAR technicians may develop the experience and skills necessary to make these considerable advancements in their field.
Step 5: Stay Up to Date in the Field
Because informed and intelligent employees are often very valuable to a company or organization, NASCAR technicians who stay updated on all aspects of their field may greatly increase their chances of advancement.
With a solid post-secondary education in automotive technology, work experience, and possibly certificate, a NASCAR technician can earn about $38,000 to perform a wide variety of repairs and maintenance-related work on the stock cars used in NASCAR races.