Second shift jobs?
November 1, 2012 11:52 AM   Subscribe

What are some jobs / workplaces / industries where people work 2nd shift (afternoon-midnight)?

Trying to come up with a master list of jobs / workplaces where people work from afternoon to mid- or late evening, anywhere from say 3 pm to midnight or even 1 am. They don't have to take up the entire time-frame, as long as they fall somewhere around it (maybe a couple hours before / after the 3 pm-midnight frame).

So far on my list I have:

grocery stores
movie theaters
any establishment requiring night security
retail stores
restaurants / food establishments
warehouses (? not sure)
factories / manufacturing
hospitals / EMT
nursing homes
fire / police departments
masseurs (? again, not sure)
gas stations / convenience stores
after-school programs
personal trainers (? for clientele who work during the day)
call centers / help lines, or other telephone work

(I realize that a lot of "normal" day jobs last until about 5 pm every day -- I'm looking for work that occurs later than that.)

I realize that this is one of the parts of my day when I am most productive -- and also, I prefer to keep the daytime free so that I can enjoy the sun whenever it's out! -- so looking to see what options might be out there.
posted by ditto75 to Work & Money (42 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Lots of technology/infrastructure/hosting companies (Rackspace, for example, has almost all job functions working in 3 shifts).
posted by wrok at 11:55 AM on November 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

IT, which may or may not fall under the category of call centers/helplines for you. Basically any place which needs staff 24 hours a day will probably have a second (and third) shift.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:55 AM on November 1, 2012

Airports and other transportation hubs
posted by HeyAllie at 11:56 AM on November 1, 2012

you could always become a cab/taxi driver
posted by rylan at 11:57 AM on November 1, 2012

Journalism is full of second-shift work: Reporters, editors, designers, page paginators, folks who aggregate school sports scores in that tiny little agate type, press operators, technical support, security, newsroom librarians, and on and on.
posted by commander biscuit at 12:01 PM on November 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

yard railroad switching, afternoons were my choice....
posted by raildr at 12:01 PM on November 1, 2012

I've worked 5-midnight doing bar work
posted by iamsuper at 12:01 PM on November 1, 2012

Utilities, the phone company, the power company will all have shifts.

The post office, and other package handling services.

Public Transport.

Flight Attendants, Pilots, etc.

Internal Revenue Service has tax help jobs with evening shifts and it's seasonal.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:02 PM on November 1, 2012

My dad worked for a utility company, on the afternoon shift, for years. Anything you'd expect to be up and running 24/7 will probably be at least somewhat staffed all day long.
posted by xil at 12:06 PM on November 1, 2012

Cleaners! I work for housekeeping services at a very large teaching hospital, and we are required to have staff on site 24/7.
posted by janepanic at 12:09 PM on November 1, 2012

College teachers, especially adjunct faculty.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:12 PM on November 1, 2012

Veterinary Medicine. Emergency hospitals are a booming segment of the business and are open 24 hours, but even general practices are being forced to have at least some evening and nighttime hours for busy pet owners.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:17 PM on November 1, 2012

My father worked for a printing plant (R.R. Donnelly & Sons) and they had all three shifts going printing catalogs and magazines.
posted by Mchelly at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2012

Circulation attendants and reference staff at academic libraries often work very late shifts so that the library can be open either 24 hours a day or until very late.
posted by itsamermaid at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

state Fusion Centers. Any kind of operations center within the Federal Government. This is called "Swing shift"
posted by BlueMartini7 at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2012

I worked security for a small museum all through college. We had gallery guards who worked various shifts to fill the 9am-6pm opening time (and to 8:30pm on Thursdays!) and desk guards who worked either 8am-4pm, 4pm-10pm, or 10pm-8am. I had a number of the 10pm-8am shifts.

It cuts down on the insurance costs immensely to have a human person awake and onsite in the museum 24 hours a day. I imagine any place that has a high liability/loss risk would also want to employ people at all hours.
posted by phunniemee at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Stagehands. Actors. Orchestral musicians. Dancers.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:21 PM on November 1, 2012

This might fall under the heading of "caregiver," but resident assistants in group homes for developmentally-disabled adults and recreation aides in DD facilities for adults and children work afternoon shifts, because the clients are usually in school or at work/workshop during the day. They often also have night shifts available, too.
posted by tully_monster at 12:22 PM on November 1, 2012

Radio and television professionals of all kinds.
posted by LinnTate at 12:27 PM on November 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

24-hr pharmacies
posted by Pocahontas at 12:29 PM on November 1, 2012

I've worked second shift in a factory. I should caution you that while it's great for sleep/productivity, it kills your social life. The hours you're free, everyone else is either working or sleeping, and the hours you're working are when everything interesting happens.

It is nice to get out in the mornings, but sleeping in is seductive enough that I never did much of that unless I had a specific appointment to keep. I never saw nearly as much sun as I'd have liked, but if you're motivated to experience the great outdoors and don't need a lot of company from most people who work during the days, it could be good for you.
posted by asperity at 12:43 PM on November 1, 2012

Bouncers, strippers, DJ's, newscasters
ticket scalpers, professional escorts, dominatrix
valets, chauffeurs, taxi drivers, toll takers
airline pilots, ferryboat crew, police
night school teachers
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:43 PM on November 1, 2012

Stationary engineers, who operate power generation equipment, commercial/industrial boilers and chillers, and other big-ass pieces of machinery.
posted by drlith at 12:47 PM on November 1, 2012

I'm staff at a college. I help run the wood shop and other art-making facilities. Half my days are from 2 to 10.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:51 PM on November 1, 2012

A lot of lab technician jobs in places like chemistry labs seem to be second shift.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:54 PM on November 1, 2012

Absolutely warehouses. Any company that does next-day delivery of any kind will have to have people there in the evening and overnight to process orders and load trucks.
posted by something something at 12:55 PM on November 1, 2012

Word processing/document support services in law firms. I've done it during those hours.
posted by jgirl at 1:23 PM on November 1, 2012

Hotel desk clerk.
posted by annsunny at 1:29 PM on November 1, 2012

Word processing/document support services in law firms. I've done it during those hours.

Similarly litigation support/electronic discovery firms are usually 24/7 shops.
posted by trip and a half at 2:44 PM on November 1, 2012

I do this! I work at a youth treatment center.
posted by Marinara at 2:54 PM on November 1, 2012

I work in a bakery. The bakers come in at midnight and bake all night.

Emergency dispatchers.
Air traffic controllers.
Any emergency service people.
Some construction people, during emergencies.
Night relief in hostels, shelters, group homes, residential facilities. These positions are sometimes care-oriented, but sometimes admin-oriented.

Forest fire lookouts.
posted by windykites at 2:57 PM on November 1, 2012

Also, truckers.
posted by windykites at 2:58 PM on November 1, 2012

Also, no massage therapist works until midnight. Unless it's erotic massage, I suppose, but I can't tell if that's what you meant.
posted by windykites at 3:00 PM on November 1, 2012

Political canvassing has this schedule.

Nannies and babysitters (or daycares) can work this shift. Any shift that people who have kids work, childcare workers work.

In terms of occasional work, 5 or 6 to 12 is a typical shift for a sitter when parents are having a night out.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:33 PM on November 1, 2012

Ah, I see you mentioned sitters in the question. Sorry!
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:35 PM on November 1, 2012

Blood bank workers
Ballroom dance instructors
posted by coldhotel at 3:36 PM on November 1, 2012

Door-to-door fundraising, event work, and catering all have evening hours.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:36 PM on November 1, 2012

When my cousin was a prison guard, she would work regular 4 pm - midnight shifts. I think she hated it a little bit.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:45 PM on November 1, 2012

Best answer: As it happens, this was the impetus for me to do a little database work I've been putting off for a while now. I've got the American Community Survey, the "long form" questionnaire of the Census, and they ask both what time people arrive at their workplace and what their occupation is in excruciating detail (5 minute time intervals / 469 occupation codes). Overall, about 8% of workers start during the "second shift" peak of 2-6 PM. The top occupations for workers arriving at work between 2-6 PM are:
#1 Hosts and hostesses in restaurants, lounges and coffee shops
#2 Bartenders
#3 Motion picture projectionists
And a bunch more food service / hospitality type jobs (hotel clerk, gambling workers, etc.)

Most of these are low paying jobs (19 of the top 20 are in the lowest quintile for wages). The top 10 occupations that are in the upper 60% for wages, by likelihood to arrive at work between 2-6 PM:
Athletes, coaches, umpires and related workers
Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators and tenders, metal and plastic
Dancers and choreographers
Gaming managers
Mail sorters, processors and processing machine operators
Gaming services workers
Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers, all other
Metal furnace and kiln operators and tenders
Other teachers and instructors
Tire builders

The top 10 occupations that require more than on-the-job training, by likelihood of starting work between 2-6 PM:
Gaming services workers
Library technicians
Other teachers and instructors*
Musicians, singers and related workers*
Avionics technicians
Aircraft mechanics and service technicians
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
Recreation and fitness workers
Respiratory therapists
Atmospheric and space scientists*

Many of these jobs require vocational training only. The next 10 (there are also the three with stars above) that require a bachelor's or more are:
Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians
Television, video and motion picture camera operators and editors
News analysts, reporters and correspondents
Biological technicians
Aircraft pilots & flight engineers
Tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents
Misc. health technologists and technicians
Producers and directors

Memail me if you want the spreadsheet in all of it's gory detail.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:47 PM on November 1, 2012 [11 favorites]

Casino workers: game dealers, security, entertainment and wait staff, and hospitality clerks/service people of every variety, in a variety of pay brackets (including animal trainers, medical personnel, maid service and everything else you can think of).

also, private tutors - maybe not on the college level, but for high school aged students and younger, especially music lessons.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:47 PM on November 1, 2012

I used to be a test driver for new cars. Shifts were 5 to 1, both am and pm.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:02 PM on November 1, 2012

I worked as a UK academic publishing liaison for Oxford University Press -- they're 7 hours in the future from PDT. It made for some rather interesting hours (12:30 - 8:30 am a lot of the time). Any international job can make for this kind of nocturnal element. My husband often has Skype conferences with his Indian colleagues at odd hours of the night.
posted by sweltering at 4:32 AM on November 2, 2012

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