What is 1st 2nd and 3rd Shift Hours

A shift differential is an additional pay given to employees working less desirable shifts. The most common example of a shift differential is the “night shift premium” offered to workers willing to work late-night or early-morning hours. But there are other shift differentials, such as those for working weekends or holidays.

The main reason for giving employees a shift differential is incentivizing them to work the less desirable shifts. After all, if everyone wants to work the daytime hours, somebody has to be available during the evening and overnight hours. By offering a higher hourly wage for these less desirable shifts, employers are more likely to be able to fill those positions.

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What is 1st 2nd and 3rd Shift Hours

1st Shift Hours

The first shift is often considered the traditional workday schedule. First shift hours typically run from 9 am until 5 pm Monday through Friday, although there can be some variation depending on the company’s operational needs.

1st Shift Jobs/Industries

  • Nurse
  • Accountant
  • Teaching
  • IT
  • Salesman
  • Call center
  • Construction
  • Electrician Etc.
Pros & Cons


  • Flexible hours
  • More opportunities for overtime
  • Easier commute times
  • Better availability of childcare during the day
  • More natural light to work in


  • Less money than other shifts
  • More traffic on the roads during rush hour
  • More competition for jobs and promotions

2nd Shift Hours

The second shift usually runs from 4 pm until midnight Monday through Friday, although some companies may have different start and end times. The hours of the second shift can also vary depending on the days of the week that the company operates. For example, a company that opens seven days a week may have different second-shift hours on Saturday and Sunday than during the week.

2nd Shift Jobs/Industries

  • Security
  • Factory worker
  • Retail
  • Customer service representative
  • Housekeeper/janitor
  • Courier driver
  • Foodservice
  • Hospitality
Pros & Cons


  • Higher pay than 1st shift
  • Less traffic on the roads
  • More flexibility in terms of scheduling
  • Opportunities for overtime
  • Potential access to private transportation


  • Less natural light to work in
  • More difficult commute times
  • Fewer job opportunities during the night shift
  • Less availability of childcare during the evening and night hours

3rd Shift Hours

The third shift runs from midnight until 8 am Monday through Friday, although there can be some variation in start and end times. Like the second shift, the hours of the third shift may also vary depending on which days of the week the company is open for business.

3rd Shift Jobs/Industries

  • Bakery
  • Nursing
  • Security
  • Custodial service
  • Foodservice
  • Janitorial service
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Hospitality
Pros & Cons


  • Highest pay of all shifts
  • Less competition for jobs and promotions
  • More flexible hours
  • Opportunities for overtime
  • Fewer people on the roads during late-night hours


  • More difficult commute times
  • Less natural light to work in
  • Less availability of childcare during the overnight hours
  • Higher safety risks due to late-night hours.

What is the Best Shift?

The best shift to work depends on various factors, such as your schedule preferences and lifestyle needs. For example, if you have children and need to be home in the evenings for them, then the first or second shift is more suitable for you. But if you are looking for extra pay in exchange for working the less desirable hours, then third shift may be your best option.

Ultimately, the best shift to work is the one that fits best into your schedule and helps you achieve your personal and professional goals. The important thing is to find one that works for you and allows you to be successful in both your career and personal life.

Final Thoughts

So, now you know what 1st 2nd, and 3rd shift are! If you’re looking for a job with a flexible schedule, consider applying for a position that offers one of these three shifts. You may earn a higher hourly wage than you would for traditional daytime hours.

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