Not everyone is cut out for overnight jobs. But for those who are natural night owls, a third shift job can have a lot of benefits.
Overnight jobs can be a good fit for families who want one parent at home with the children but need two incomes, those who don’t want to deal with a lot of co-workers or customers, and students who are in class during the day.
Some job opportunities also pay more for third shift hours than for the day shift.
Whatever the reason, these are some of the best overnight jobs if you’re looking for ways to work while most of the world sleeps.
Traditional Overnight Jobs
We’ve divided this article into two kinds of overnight jobs.
The first section is for traditional shift work jobs. These jobs have a low barrier to entry, often just requiring a high school diploma and little or no experience.
The second section is for gig work positions, which generally have more flexible scheduling and provide options for those looking for an overnight job at home.
#1. Night Stocking
The average grocery store contains almost 40,000 items, and stores that carry a mix of groceries and consumer items offer tens of thousands more. Someone needs to keep all those items on the shelves — a task that’s harder during the day when the aisles are full of shoppers.
Even stores that are open 24 hours employ more stockers overnight because the store is less busy. Large grocers like Kroger, and big-box stores like Walmart, Target and Lowe’s, are almost always hiring for the night stocker position (both full-time and part-time).
#2. Warehouse Work
Amazon is a big player in the area of overnight jobs, employing more than a quarter of a million people full-time in their warehouses (which the company calls fulfillment centers).
A warehouse associate at Amazon does things like accept and shelve inventory, pick and box customer orders, and load the boxes into the trucks for shipment.
Working in an Amazon fulfillment center is one of the better-paying jobs on our list. Pay varies by job title, but the minimum wage is $15 per hour and it doesn’t matter if you’re full-time, part-time or seasonal, or whether you’re hired directly by Amazon or via a staffing agency.
Related reading: Amazon work-from-home jobs — what’s available, and how to get them.
Cleaning jobs are a great way to make money, especially if you want to work independently. But cleaning houses is not on any list of overnight jobs. Rather than residential homes, focus on cleaning businesses, most of which are closed overnight after all of the employees and customers have gone home for the day.
Think of places like restaurants, offices, clothing stores, bars and coffee shops. These kinds of cleaning jobs also need to be done more frequently than residential cleaning, which means you’ll have more work with fewer clients — and thus won’t have to work as hard as residential cleaners to find customers.
#4. Child Care
You’re not the only person looking to work an overnight job. Plenty of other people might be part of an overnight team — including single parents. Daycare centers often revolve around traditional working hours, which makes it tough for parents who work nights to find reliable child care.
There are also parents who need overnight child care if they’re traveling for work or just going on vacation and don’t have close family or friends nearby who can take care of their kids.
#5. Hotel Clerk
People check in and out of hotels at all hours, and guests sometimes have issues that need to be addressed during the night. So all hotels employ overnight clerks (which are also called night auditors) to staff the front desk.
Being a night auditor is an ideal job for students who need to study. It’s the perfect work environment because while you might deal with the occasional check-in, check-out or guest need, your shift will usually be quiet — perfect for getting your class assignments done.
#6. Retail Clerk
More and more stores, particularly big-box drug stores like CVS and Walgreens, are open 24 hours a day. And not everyone is suited to overnight stock jobs, as they can involve lots of bending and lifting.
A retail clerk working the night shift may have a few more duties than those on the day shift (some light cleaning, straightening shelves, etc., since there are fewer customers to deal with), but nothing overly physical.
You may also be able to sit down between customers, which is really helpful for those who suffer joint or back problems.
#7. Customer Service Agent
Customers often need to talk to a customer service representative outside normal business hours. Think of things like hotels, tech and credit cards. People in other countries and other time zones need to book rooms, have their computer problems addressed, and dispute fraudulent charges.
Companies have seen the cost savings when they hire people to work from home for these positions, rather than renting or buying huge amounts of office space. These two factors together add up to the perfect opportunity for those who not only want an overnight job but a work from home job too!
And many of these jobs are permanent and full-time, with some even offering the same benefits for agents who work as home as for those who work at a call center.
#8. Tech Support Agent
Tech support isn’t limited to you and me having problems with our cell phones or laptops.
Think of the kinds of businesses that are open 24 hours. Stores, hotels, diners and so many other types of enterprises use tech products, ranging from cash registers to booking software to POS touch screen ordering systems.
When those tech solutions go down, someone has to troubleshoot them.
Apple, in particular, hires a lot of tech support agents to work overnight hours. The company also provides its team members, both part-time and full-time, with perks such as paid time off, product discounts and room for advancement.
Learn more about Apple’s work-from-home jobs — which the company calls “At Home Advisors” — here.
Gig Economy & Work At Home Overnight Jobs
Many of the jobs listed above are entry-level positions and require set schedules, so they won’t be ideal for everyone. If you already have some job experience or need a job or side hustle that allows for more flexible hours — not to mention more upside — these gig economy jobs might be more fitting. With the exception of delivery, each idea below allows you to work remotely online.
#9. Teach English Online
If you want to be a classroom teacher, you’re almost exclusively limited to daytime hours. But not all students are in the United States, and a big industry has popped up that’s devoted to teaching international students ESL (English as a Second Language). Many of these opportunities are focused on Chinese students, who are on about a 12-hour time difference, depending on the specific region.
One of the best-known ESL companies is VIPKid. It hires Americans to teach ESL to students in China between the ages of 4 and 12. Teachers are not required to speak any language other than English, and while you do need at least a bachelor’s degree, it can be in any subject. The hours are somewhat flexible (from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. EST) and there’s no minimum number of hours required.
Another similar option worth looking into is Education First, which teaches kids not only in China but around the world.
Learn more: The best online tutoring jobs you can do from home.
People with overnight jobs — or those who are up all night for some other reason — sometimes want to order in a meal, just like those who work 9-5. Someone has to deliver that food! Plenty of restaurants deliver 24 hours a day via services like Uber Eats and DoorDash.
Additionally, services like Postmates and GoPuff offer 24-hour delivery of things like snacks, household goods, drugstore items and even alcohol. For those who want to make money with their car but don’t feel safe picking up strangers at night, these delivery jobs are a good alternative.
Depending on the service and your location, you’ll typically earn between $15 and $25 per hour. Plus, you’ll have the flexibility to work as little or as much as you want, and you can usually withdraw your earnings either instantly or very quickly.
You can learn more about the best app-based delivery jobs in this roundup of the different services.
Writers have something of a romantic reputation for being night owls, burning the midnight oil while they write their magnum opus. Even if you’re not that kind of writer, you can turn writing into an overnight job.
Freelance sites like Upwork and Guru have thousands of job postings for writers on hundreds of topics. If you have a niche, someone on these sites is probably looking for it.
Even writers without much experience can get work on these sites because not all clients need (or want to pay for) really experienced writers. That makes the platforms a good way to break into the business.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out these resources we’ve put together:
- How to start freelancing with no experience
- Freelance writing jobs for beginners — the best sites and strategies
- Five freelance writing sites that pay daily
- Step-by-step guide to getting your first job on Upwork
Another way to make money by writing overnight is to start a blog.
Getting started as a blogger is easy, but it can take a little while to see a return on your time investment. As a freelance writer, you can get your first client today (even without experience). As a blogger, it might take six months to a year before you start making money from home.
However, the upside to blogging is enormous.
Take me, for example. I spent a decade working in the financial services industry, but left that job to run this website full-time. Today, it’s big enough that it supports my family of five — and it gives me the flexibility to actually spend time with them instead of being stuck in an office all day.
If you’d like to learn more about how I made that career transition, and how you can get your own (profitable) blog up and running, sign up for my 100% free on-demand course called “How to Make Your First $1,000 Blogging.”
It offers a step-by-step guide, based on my own experience, and there’s no charge for it (ever).
#12. Data Entry
Data entry is one of the most versatile of the overnight jobs.
- You can start your own company by soliciting business from places like medical and attorney’s offices.
- You can find freelance clients on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.
- You can find full-time work from home opportunities on a job board like FlexJobs.
- You can work with companies that specialize in hiring data entry clerks (and other kinds of typists) like AccuTran Global and Axion Data Services.
Even the full-time positions with dedicated companies typically don’t require specific hours, so as long as you complete your assignments, they won’t care if you work overnight.
Here’s an article that lists some of the best work-from-home data entry jobs.
Transcription jobs typically require some experience and special equipment, but it’s an in-demand skill and there are some opportunities for beginners to break into the field.
Being willing to work overnight can be a big advantage in the transcription field, as many businesses want a quick turnaround. If they get the file to you at the end of their business day, and you can get it to them by the opening of the following day, you can provide significant added value.
Further reading: The best online transcription jobs for beginners.
#14. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants do many of the same tasks as in-office assistants do, such as reading and composing emails, scheduling meetings and appointments, and making travel arrangements.
But the clients they work for either work from home themselves (with no room for an assistant) or only need occasional help (i.e., not enough to require an in-office assistant). People in these situations often turn to a VA.
And while it might not seem like this makes sense as an overnight job, the fact is that there are many small businesses and entrepreneurs who are either overseas and need a U.S.-based VA, or who are based in the United States and need someone available to coordinate business abroad.
#15. Website and App Testing
Before companies launch new websites or apps, or updated versions of them, they need to be user-tested so that any bugs that will be annoying to customers can be detected and eliminated. These companies also want other kinds of feedback before their product goes public. No one wants to launch the New Coke of websites or apps!
These companies hire outside firms to conduct this research, who in turn hire work-from-home testers to provide feedback. One such site is UserTesting.com, which pays $10 for every 20-minute test completed and more for interviews.
Overnight Jobs FAQ
There is no law that requires employers to pay night shift workers more than day shift workers. But many will do so in order to attract enough employees who are willing to work overnight shifts, as they are typically less desirable than day shifts.
Job boards like FlexJobs and Indeed allow users to search their job descriptions for certain keywords including “overnight jobs” or “nightshift jobs.” FlexJobs is especially valuable for those who are looking for an overnight job that is also a work-from-home job. You can learn more about how the site works in our FlexJobs review.
Working at night disrupts your natural sleep cycle, and that can have adverse health effects. There are some things you can do to help, including using a sleep mask and black-out curtains to keep the sunlight from impacting your sleep during the day. Using a white noise machine can also help block noise.
If you’re new to working overnight, keep in mind that there will most likely be an adjustment period, and make a plan to ensure that you’re still eating healthy and getting sufficient exercise.
Overnight Jobs Summary
Whether you’re a permanent night owl or a temporary one due to a family situation or schooling, there are plenty of jobs that can accommodate your schedule.
But keep in mind that working the overnight shift can be both physically and mentally taxing. If you have trouble adjusting to the sleep schedule, you may find yourself dragging. And if your friends and family are all on a traditional schedule, you may have to deal with some degree of social isolation.
As with most things in personal finance, the key is to be clear about your reasons for making a decision while keeping an eye trained on your long-term goals. If working the overnight shift helps you with short-term financial goals like building an emergency fund or getting out of debt, that’s great.
But if it disrupts your long-term trajectory, then it may not be the best choice.