16 Pros and Cons of Working Night Shift

The night shift, commonly known as the graveyard shift, is a work shift that extends into the night.

Essentially, workers will be working after midnight and will end their shifts in the morning.

While many people don’t want this shift, there are a few reasons why working the night shift can be a good thing.

Below, we’ll highlight the pros and cons so that you can see if it’s the right choice for you.

Pros of Working for the Night Shift

Working the night shift has a handful of benefits that some people might not even be aware of.

If you’ve considered applying for a night shift job, or it just piqued your interest, then we can help explain some of the benefits.

Below, we’ve crafted the main benefits of working during the third shift. 

#1: Better Pay

Since many people aren’t willing to work during the night shift, companies often pay more to those who apply for the position.

This can be good for those who are looking to get a good-paying job, as many standard entry-level positions pay well above the minimum wage.

Currently, the average night shift wage in the United States is $15.21, but it varies depending on the state and company.

#2: Good For Introverts

If you don’t like interacting with people, then the night shift is often a good place to start.

The graveyard shift, or third shift, is often the least busy, and you’ll find yourself being able to interact with fewer people than a day shift.

In some cases, you might not interact with anyone and will be able to do your job in peace.

Introverts who enjoy spending their time alone often flourish at night jobs, as they can efficiently get stuff done without the pressure of social interaction.

#3: Less Competition

As stated previously, the night shift isn’t exactly a popular position.

Many people have other duties during the day, which prevents them from scheduling a night shift.

That’s why it’s less competitive.

If you’re looking for a day job, you’ll have to beat out many other candidates.

However, with a night job, you may only need to beat one or two other people, if even that many applied.

This allows you to get a decent position and a fairly regular shift without the hassle of stressing over the competition. 

#4: Easier Commute

If you’re someone who loathes the morning traffic, then rest assured that getting to and from work will never be that busy.

As a night shift worker, you’ll often be driving in at around 10 pm or later.

The shift often ends before the morning shift, which allows you to leave anywhere from three to five in the morning.

During this time, there will be less traffic, and you won’t be stuck sitting behind a myriad of vehicles.

#5: Fewer Distractions

Those with a short attention span often thrive on the night shift due to less going on.

The night shift is often quiet, slow-paced, and with only a few distractions.

Those who find it difficult to stay on task with things happening around them constantly will flourish during the night shift.

Even those diagnosed with ADHD or ADD have stated that they find the night shift to be more relaxing, as they can stay on task without their attention being drawn elsewhere.

#6: Promotions Come Quicker

One of the biggest benefits of working the third shift is that there are more chances to become promoted.

During the day shift, you’ll often have lots of competition for a management position.

However, during the night shift, you might be the only one working.

Due to this, night workers often find that they get promotions and pay increases faster than their day-shift counterparts.

If you’re looking to further your career, working the night shift can be a good place to start.

#7: Frees Up Your Day

If you’re looking to attend school, have to be home with the kids, or have other daily commitments that working a normal job could hinder, then the night shift can be beneficial.

Many people choose to opt for the third shift due to needing to do something else during the day.

The work hours allow you to still get your rest in but also can attend to other commitments during the day. 

#8: Better Benefits

Employers will often add extra benefits to help entice people to apply for a night shift.

Since night shifts are necessary for many businesses, many times they will add benefits to their overall package.

Those applying can get those benefits by working the night shift without any extra effort.

can include health insurance packages, retirement plans, bonus pay, etc.

Cons of Working for the Night Shift

Even though there are many benefits to working a night shift, there are also cons.

There are more cons to working a night shift that severely impacts your daily life.

So, it’s best to carefully consider the cons before jumping for joy at the pros.

Below, we’ve detailed the biggest cons that take a toll on night shift workers.

#1: Bad Social Life

While you will be excited about working in a quiet environment, you’ll often find that you won’t be able to have a normal social life.

While most of the world is operating during the day, you’ll be awake during the night.

This makes it difficult to see friends, family, and loved ones.

Some people don’t enjoy the third shift due to this, especially when they are in a relationship or have a family that doesn’t bond with them because of it. 

#2: Sleep Cycle Broken

The human body has something called the circadian rhythm that is used to describe the natural internal clock where we sleep when the sun goes down and rise when it comes up.

A night shift can be damaging to your normal sleep schedule, as you’ll need to plan to sleep at a later time than everyone else.

This can be difficult for some, as during the day, there are plenty of noises that can awaken you when you’re trying to sleep.

In addition, some people find that they develop insomnia, fatigue, and other health issues.

#3: Safety

Safety can be compromised during the night shift because there are fewer workers on-site.

Safety concerns can range from workplace accidents to possible crimes.

As a night shift worker, you’ll need to assess the risks before applying. 

#4: Limited Job Opportunities

Not all jobs call for a night shift, which can severely decrease your options.

Not only will positions be limited to certain jobs, but you’ll also have fewer job opportunities.

This can prevent you from gaining the necessary skills for other positions and even not being qualified to work during the day shift.

#5: Health Risks

A few studies have found that night shift workers are more prone to developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

This is often correlated with the fact that there aren’t many options for eating out, as restaurants are often closed.

This severely limits your options and can cause you to eat unhealthy fast food that’s open or rely on ready-to-eat meals.

Those working the night shift are also prone to being less physically active and will find themselves snacking out of boredom.

#6: Depression

Many night shift workers develop depression due to a lack of a social life.

Often, those with partners or families will get to spend less time with them, resulting in feelings of guilt and regret.

Some may also not get to hang out with their friends and find that they often won’t be able to meet for drinks, parties, or just hang out because they will be sleeping when everyone gets off of work.

This can lead to a higher risk of developing depression, which can be a huge issue as it affects one’s mental health.

#7: Schedule Conflicts

One of the biggest drawbacks to working the night shift is that you’ll always have schedule conflicts when trying to book appointments.

Need to call someone to fix something at your home?

Well, you’ll need to be awake for that, which can often cut into your sleeping hours.

You also can’t get an appointment with the doctor due to their limited hours.

Many times, you’ll often have to choose between less sleep and making an appointment, which can lead you to work when you’re drowsy.

#8: Unhealthy in the Long Run

As you age, your body becomes more aware of you staying awake at night.

This can have a negative impact on your health and increase your risks of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and more.

You’ll also find that your mind will be less alert and, over time, will begin to become tired while working your shift, which can lead to an injury.

16 Pros and Cons of Working Night Shift – Summary Table

Pros of Working for the Night ShiftCons of Working for the Night Shift
Better PayBad Social Life
Good For IntrovertsSleep Cycle Broken
Less CompetitionSafety
Easier CommuteLimited Job Opportunities
Fewer DistractionsHealth Risks
Promotions Come QuickerDepression
Frees Up Your DaySchedule Conflicts
Better BenefitsUnhealthy in the Long Run

Should You Work the Night Shift?

The night shift isn’t for everyone.

Only certain people tend to thrive working during the third shift.

If you’re someone who enjoys being a night owl, loves a slower-paced environment, or has other commitments, then a night shift might be right for you.

A good way to test this out is to change your daily schedule to match a night schedule and see if you enjoy it.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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