Job type


£19k - £39k

Typical salary

44 – 46

Hours per week

Jockeys ride horses at race meetings for horse trainers and owners

More info

  • Ride horses in races for a single trainer or owner, or ride for several as a self-employed jockey
  • Possibilities to travel to stables overseas, especially in Dubai, Japan and the USA
  • This work is physically demanding, and there is a high risk of injury from falls and kicks

Working as a jockey involves combining a passion for horses with physical fitness and possible opportunities to travel abroad.


You'll specialise in either flat or jump racing, although you could take part in both.

  • Planning racing strategies with the owner and trainer
  • Riding every day to exercise your horse
  • Riding at race tracks around the UK and possibly overseas


As a qualified, professional jockey, you'll receive a riding fee and a percentage of prize money. You'll get allowances for extended periods away and for overseas travel. Some jockeys also secure sponsorship deals.

You could work for just one trainer or owner, or ride for several as a self-employed jockey. 

You'll need

For this role, you'll be required to have a high level of ability in riding and handling horses; fitness, strength and stamina; good eyesight and fast reaction speeds; and the ability to cope with the risks and pressures of racing. You'll need thoroughness and attention to detail, customer service and excellent verbal communication skills; and ambition and the desire to succeed.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship. You can apply to do a residential foundation course at the British Racing School or the National Horseracing College to see if you have the potential to progress onto a racing apprenticeship. With success, you may be offered the opportunity to work in a racing stable and start an intermediate apprenticeship in racehorse care. Then you would complete an advanced apprenticeship in racehorse care and management. Anyone aged 16 and over, who works at least 16 hours a week in a licensed racing stable, can apply.

Alternatively, you could start as a stable hand in a training stables and work your way up.

You may also be able to move into professional racing if you've got experience as an amateur jockey, after completing training to get a professional racing licence.


With experience, you could go on to work for stables overseas in countries like Dubai, Japan and the USA.