Working third shift can be tiring and discombobulating, but not everyone can have a job from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some businesses are open 24 hours, and they need staff to help them at all times. On the other hand, some workers need or want to work a third shift because of daily obligations or sleep habits. Depending on which company you work for, the hours of a third shift can fluctuate.
The Night Shift
The earliest you could start a shift and have it considered overnight would be 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. These shifts usually provide support for the second shift workers, while giving you time to prepare your own work for the night. Typically, these hours are found in a late or 24-hour restaurant or bar setting. Wait staff and cooks are needed into the wee hours of the morning for patrons looking for a snack or beer.
The Overnight Shift
Many businesses that require workers overnight schedule a shift from midnight until 8 a.m. These workers are required to do less clean up and preparation than the earlier night shift. They usually work in businesses that require typical day-job care in an overnight capacity, like hospitals. Nurses, doctors and registrars are required on-site at all times, for any person who may need assistance at any time. Their job is the same as it would be in the daylight.
The Early Morning Shift
News media outlets often have shifts starting at 2 a.m. going until 10 a.m. The morning paper goes on the stands at 5 a.m. daily, so all stories have to be tidied and in place and presses are rolling well before then. Television and radio news outlets often have live shows starting at 5 a.m. and ending at 9 a.m. Those shows require producing, editing and writing well before air time.
The Daybreak Shift
The latest (or earliest, depending on your point of view) you could start work and consider yourself a third-shifter would be 4 a.m. Bakers, trash collectors, news distributors, casinos and many other businesses require workers be on the job at that time preparing for the day. Firefighters, EMTs and police officers often have their heaviest volume at this time, as well.