Q&A: What Is a Typical Third-Shift Schedule?

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Facilities that operate 24 hours a day need workers on the first, second and third shifts to keep the business running smoothly. Employees on the third shift typically work nights, which can present unique challenges as well as distinctive advantages. This article will help you understand what a third shift is and the jobs it typically applies to, which can help you decide if this type of work is right for you.

The third shift, also known as the night shift or cemetery shift, is the term used for the work schedule that runs from about midnight to the early hours of the morning. While the exact hours of the third shift may change from one workplace to another, this shift almost always occurs at night. 24-hour workplaces must have third-shift schedules in order for the facility to be staffed at all times.

The first shift in a 24-hour facility is typically around 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second shift is from 4:00 p.m. to midnight and the third shift takes over from midnight to 8:00 a.m. Some employees maintain the same work schedules at all times. . Other workplaces may use rotating shifts in which employees will work the first shift for a few weeks, the second shift for a few weeks, and the third shift for a few weeks.

Benefits of third shift hours

Although a third work schedule is not considered a typical work day, there are many benefits to having this schedule. Some of the benefits of working the third shift include:

  • Less traffic: The commute to and from work is generally faster and easier for third-shift workers than those who work regular working hours.

  • Fewer meetings: Meetings in the workplace are more likely to take place during the day. Third-shift workers can often receive the notes of these meetings without having to take the time to attend.

  • A quieter working environment: Most facilities are quieter and less busy during the third shift. This is especially true if you stock shelves in a store while it is closed at night or if you are in a security position for a facility closed to the public during those hours.

  • Daytime availability: While this may require adjusting your sleep hours, you should be more available during the day for activities such as meeting with home service professionals.

  • Less competition for jobs: There is generally less competition for third-shift jobs. This can make it much easier to enter your chosen field and gain work experience.

  • A reduced workforce: In most workplaces, the third shift staff is smaller than the day staff. These workers enjoy greater autonomy and work under a smaller management team, which can give you additional freedom to focus on your work.

Read more: Shift work: definition, jobs, advantages and disadvantages

Jobs that commonly use the third shift

The third change is more common in some industries than in others. Below you will find some occupations for which you will frequently find third-shift job offers.

1. Concierge

National average salary: $ 11.38 per hour

Main duties : Janitors often clean the facilities overnight. They are better able to vacuum, dust and clean bathrooms when these buildings are empty of occupants.

2. Night auditor

National average salary: $ 11.82 per hour

Main duties : Night Auditors work in hotels providing overnight assistance to customers. They can take reservations, check in customers, or send additional toiletries to customers on demand overnight. They also keep the reception well organized and prepare the installation for the next day.

3. Security guard

National average salary: $ 12.48 per hour

Main duties : Security guards monitor the premises for any unusual activity. During the third shift, their responsibilities typically include monitoring security cameras or patrolling the area. They can set off alarms and call for police reinforcements if necessary.

4. Paramedical

National average salary: $ 19.69 per hour

Main duties : Paramedics respond to emergency calls, which can arrive at any time during the night. Paramedics can resuscitate patients, treat wounds and provide first aid. They are responsible for stabilizing patients and helping them get to the hospital for further care.

5. Firefighter

National average salary: $ 45,484 per year

Main duties : Third-shift firefighters respond to calls that come in during the night. These can include fires as well as medical emergencies and other disasters for which these first responders are called upon to help.

6. Hotel manager

National average salary: $ 50,126 per year

Main duties : Hotels can have guests entering and leaving the property at all times, so management must be available during each shift. Third-shift hotel managers often handle more paperwork, like scheduling employees and preparing special events or VIP guests that arrive the next day.

7. Police officer

National average salary: $ 51,294 per year

Main duties : Police officers are needed around the clock to answer distress calls and patrol their jurisdictions. Third-shift police officers often see criminal activity related to break-ins, DUI enforcement, and prowlers. They are responsible for enforcing laws, making arrests and issuing summons as needed.

8. Warehouse manager

National average salary: $ 51,992 per year

Main duties : With the increasing popularity of next day shipping, many warehouses operate overnight to fill orders. A third warehouse manager supervises the night shift and ensures reception, distribution and storage operations throughout the establishment.

9. Emergency nurse

National average salary: $ 44.78 per hour

Main duties : An emergency nurse helps assess the needs of patients when they arrive at the emergency room. Responsibilities may include taking vital signs, administering medication, performing minor operations, monitoring the patient overnight, and keeping detailed records of the patient’s stay.

Related: 10 Nursing Interview Questions & Answers

10. Doctor

National average salary: $ 201,672 per year (emergency doctor)

Main duties : Physician responsibilities vary by specialty, but an emergency physician, who is more likely to have a night shift, is responsible for diagnosing and treating patients who come to the emergency room. They will usually stabilize these patients and refer them to the appropriate medical service for further care.

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