Best Overnight Jobs

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 23, 2020

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All you natural night owls, pay attention. The best job for you is one where you can work when you’re at your best. This means the 9:00 am to 5:00 pm job openings are not for you. You need to sleep late, wake up slowly, and then work up to a point where you feel you’ve got your groove. Hello, 8:00 pm!

So how do you find an occupation that suits your internal clock? A place where they’ll accept your lazy mornings and slow early afternoons. Somewhere that begins to rock once the sun goes down. Well, you find a night shift job, of course.

20 of the Best Night Shift Jobs Around

If you can’t think of any great night shift or third shift jobs, that’s okay. We’ve done the hard work, and these nighttime professions might just fit the bill for you.

  1. Bartender. When you think about who works nights, is a bartender the first thing you think of? It wouldn’t be surprising if it were. This is a classic nighttime profession, with many bars not even opening until the sun goes down.

    If you love that crazy nighttime vibe, then working smack dab in the middle of it as a bartender might be your thing. This is also a career where you won’t have a hard time finding job openings.

  2. Warehouse worker. Shipping and receiving, stocking, loading, and unloading – all of these warehouse worker jobs can be done at night.

    In fact, a lot of companies prefer to have the majority of the warehouse staff on hand at night, so they can get everything done and ready for the day shift. You can probably find work pretty easily if you search job postings online.

  3. Cashier. Gas stations, grocery stores, convenience marts; all sorts of businesses are open 24/7, and they need cashiers.

    Usually, this shift is a little slower than the day, so it can be perfect for someone who likes things laid back or is still learning the job. The hours are also good if you’re going to school in the day or have another job.

  4. Freelance writer. If your best ideas happen at night, then the freelance writer can take advantage of that and work nights. When you’re a freelance writer and working remotely, no one cares when you work, just as long as you hit your deadlines.

  5. Casino employee. Not one specific job, but all the jobs in a casino are something you can pursue. Most casinos are open all night, that’s 24 hours a day of prime employment, and you can pick your shift and your job.

    Whether you want to be a blackjack dealer, a maintenance worker, a waiter, or a cashier, all of these jobs are something you can do at night in a casino.

  6. Security guard. Whether the business is closed or open, a night shift security guard needs to be on hand. This is awesome work for people who thrive in night environments, and it comes with a lot of responsibility.

    Plan on working your way into the environment that best suits you, be it a quiet environment or one that’s hopping with customers and energy.

  7. Police officer. Day and night, a police officer’s work is never done. It depends on where you live, but some third shift police officers are busier than their daytime counterparts. They might even deal with more serious crimes at night. This is a job that will keep you on your toes, and night owls thrive in this position.

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  8. Truck driver. Truck drivers have a long history of working nights. It’s a great time to be on the road, with less traffic in the way. It’s also usually a good time to make deliveries. Many companies like to have their warehouse open and ready for your deliveries at night.

    Whether you’re catering to a bar crowd, night owl workers like yourself, or a combination, you’ll love the atmosphere when you wait tables at night.

  9. Waiter/waitress. All-night diners can be happening places after midnight, with waitstaff raking in the tips. If you come alive at night, you’ll enjoy this energetic crowd and interacting with them.

    Whether you’re catering to a bar crowd, night owl workers like yourself, or a combination, you’ll love the atmosphere when you wait tables at night.

  10. Baker. There used to be a commercial about the baker getting up every morning to make the donuts. It had a funny angle to it, but it’s so true.

    Someone needs to get up to make fresh donuts, pastries, and all those other goodies that regular commuters grab on their way to work. Their workday is beginning just as you’re wiping up the last of the sugar and flour.

  11. Maintenance Engineer. Schools, stores, businesses, banks – there are so many professions that shut their doors for the night and then bring in the maintenance crew.

    These late-night workers zip around like little elves, cleaning the floors and desktops, taking out the garbage, cleaning bathrooms, and just making sure the entire place is ready for a new day. The best ones are so good, you almost forget that they’re there; their work appears to be done by magic.

  12. Health care worker. There’s never a vacation for health care workers. People get sick every day of the year, at any time of day. That means there have to be nurses manning the hospitals and emergency rooms, security guards in parking lots and at front doors, pharmacists preparing medications and the next day’s orders, nursing home and assisted living personnel taking care of late-night needs.

    Just about any job that is done in the daytime is also done at night. Not only that, but those daytime people will be happy to have co-workers who prefer nights, so they don’t have to cover those shifts.

  13. 911 dispatch. Just like health care never takes a break, neither do criminals or emergencies. 911 operators are needed 24/7/365. Whether the call is for a health emergency or someone is breaking into a home, you need to be awake and alert to take the call.

  14. Taxi/Uber/Lyft driver. If you love socializing with new people, then being a driver can be the perfect profession. Better yet, if you do it at night, you’ll have less traffic to navigate, and your customers are probably going to be happier and less rushed and frustrated. The only problem might be driving the occasional drunk around.

  15. Front desk at a hotel. Not everyone checks in to their hotel during regular business hours. Many people come in from a late flight or decide to stop for some sleep after driving all day.

    Most hotels also need someone to be in charge overnight in case there’s an emergency or a guest needs towels. Whatever the case, you can be that person and enjoy the weird nighttime antics of your guests.

  16. Broadcast technician or engineer. The very technical and specialized equipment needed for television and radio has to be maintained all day and night. If an emergency happens at night, it’s your job to fix it.

    And you’re not just there for emergencies. Often, a station will decide to do maintenance at night when it will disrupt the service for fewer people. This can be the busiest shift for a broadcast engineer.

  17. Musician. Sure, some musicians work during the day, but others get to create their own schedules. Those performing in late-night shows, bars, lounges, and clubs all need to be at their best in the nighttime.

    Others who are composing at home or doing their own recordings might find that they prefer to work nights, too.

  18. Database Administrator. Many companies prefer to have all of their database upgrades and maintenance done during the night. This is because their workers are typically hard at work, making money during traditional day shifts, and can’t have their work interrupted for hours while the database administrator does an upgrade.

    That’s just a waste of time and money. This means that skilled computer-literate people are necessary for these late-night jobs.

  19. Call center and customer support. With e-commerce, many businesses are now global, which means there’s really no closing time. You could have a customer halfway around the world calling for support at 2:00 am because it’s midday for them. Call center support needs to be there to help people, no matter where they live.

  20. Highway construction. It might seem like you’re dodging highway construction people all day long, but they’re out there at night, too. It’s common for major highways to delay construction until nighttime hours for their crew’s safety and traffic convenience.

Why Work the Night Shift?

Whether you call it the night shift, graveyard shift, or third shift – you’re working nights, and you love it. Why? Because there are a lot of benefits to it. Not only are you someone who is most awake and alert at night, but you like it for these reasons, too:

  • Less traffic. Hey, you’re not the only one who gets road rage. It’s a huge problem and traffic is to blame. Avoid idiot drivers and congestion by working late and sleeping during normal commute hours. Just be aware of those drunk drivers.

  • Fewer humans. Most night jobs have a skeleton crew or just the amount of people necessary; at some jobs, it will just be you. If you’re not a big fan of crowds or social interactions, then this is your time to shine.

  • More humans. Okay, you’re the opposite. You love crowds, the excitement, the energy that comes off of people at night. Then working in a nightclub, an emergency room, an all-night diner, or any profession that picks up steam in the late evening hours can help you indulge your social side.

  • More money. Let’s face it; not everyone likes working nights, so a little extra pay is often involved to entice people to do it. If you love nights and money, this is a win/win for you.

  • Avoid meetings. Most workplace meetings happen in the daytime when the office staff is around. By avoiding the office staff, you get to skip out of those dreaded and painfully dull meetings. That’s a reason to work nights right there.

  • Good starting place. If you’re new to the work world, starting at a nightshift job can be the perfect place to learn the business’s ins and outs without all of the stress and pressure that you’ll have in the daytime.

    You can also then take this and use it to your advantage, letting management know you’re so dedicated to the company that you’ve paid your dues during the graveyard shift.

  • Less competition. Getting a job at night might be easier than landing the daytime position. Because fewer people want to work these hours, there can be more jobs available. It can be your way to start earning money and get your foot in the door for your dream job.

Tips for Working the Night Shift

Whether you’re a natural at night or you’re only doing it temporarily, there are a couple of tips that can help you not only get through but thrive:

  • Prepare. If you start a new job in a week, today is a great day to change your sleep schedule. You’ll be dragging on your first day if you haven’t already gotten accustomed to the new hours.

  • Make sleep a priority. Sleeping during the day can be difficult; your circadian rhythm is working against you. Even if you do fall asleep, you might find it’s not as deep or as long as you need it to be. Look into blackout curtains, changing the temperature, getting cozier bedding, removing distractions, and other tricks, so you sleep better.

  • Set a schedule. It’s not just a Monday through Friday thing; your new schedule needs to be in effect all week for you to really feel comfortable with it.

  • Prioritize health. Somehow, it’s easy to fall into bad diets and skipped workouts when you work nights. Take advantage of the slow times at the gym, prioritize your workouts, and focus on fitness and good food.

  • You-time. People who work regular shifts tend to have a little me-time at the end of the day. Nightshift workers often don’t get that time because they come home, and their family has all sorts of needs and demands, and then it’s time to sleep again. Your mental health is essential, and taking time to connect with yourself is crucial.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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