The daily 9-to-5 grind has its perks: You’ve got a reliable schedule, you can wake with the sun and you’re home in time for prime-time TV. However, first-shift (daytime) jobs are not for everyone.
Some parents find that different shifts give them more time to interact with their children; self-employed entrepreneurs have side gigs to supplement their income; full-time students work night jobs to help pay for school; and night owls rely on evening- or graveyard-shift jobs to keep them sane in the morning.
Do any of these describe you? Below are some of the most rewarding nighttime jobs you can get, with a wide range of education/training and varying pay levels. All salary estimates were provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Bartenders can work fluctuating hours, but they earn the most (and highest) tips during late shifts, especially on weekends. While you won’t need a college degree to become a bartender, you will need great multitasking and people skills — and you may be able to pick up the drink training on the job.
Median Salary: $21,690, plus tips (which can be a lot if you work at the right bar and are good with customers)
In many cities, firefighters work long shifts — typically 24 hours on, then 48 off, or three to four days of 10- to 12-hour shifts. During those long shifts, firefighters can read, watch TV and even nap until a situation arises.
Firefighters must be physically fit and willing to put their lives on the line to protect citizens. No college degree is needed, though most cities require formal training and certification.
Median Salary: $49,080
3. Merchandise stocker
If you love to stay up all night and dread the thought of interacting with strangers, a job as an overnight stocker at a retailer could be your dream position. While the pay is low, the work is relatively easy (some stores even let you listen to music or podcasts while you stock shelves), and the customer interaction is minimal, if at all. You can find these jobs at stores like Walmart and Kroger.
Median Salary: $24,470
4. ER doctor
While working in an emergency room can be chaotic and disheartening at times, the ability to save lives is incredibly rewarding for those who won’t faint at the sight of blood. ER doctors see a wide range of emergencies on a nightly basis, including broken bones, gunshot wounds, heart attacks and car accident victims. Their work is urgent and complicated, and thus requires a decade or more of expensive and competitive education.
Median Salary: $208,000
5. Freelance writer
The beauty of being a freelance writer is you can work whenever you want. I’m admittedly an early bird (and started researching this article at 8 a.m.), but I have several freelancer friends who are up until 3 a.m. working on articles.
Freelance writing requires no formal education — you just need a strong portfolio to earn your client’s business, self-discipline to maintain a steady income stream, writing talent and a whole lot of coffee.
My favorite part of being a freelance writer is the flexibility of earning money from my couch. It can be a very profitable way to make money from home, so long as you can stay motivated and disciplined.
Median Salary: $61,820, but this can vary greatly depending on how much or how little work you do and the rate you charge
6. Air traffic controller
Air traffic controllers are crucial to the safety of the millions of people who travel by plane each day. They are responsible for regulating air traffic at an airport or between airports and, as such, require intensive training, either through the military, an aviation degree or job-related experience.
Because air travel never stops, many air traffic controllers work night shifts. However, most air traffic controllers do not work night shifts consistently, which can be exhausting.
Median Salary: $124,540
7. Hotel front desk clerk
Just as planes land at all hours of the night, so too do travelers arrive at their lodging at varying times.
Hotel front desk clerks must be willing to work grueling night-shift hours while still greeting guests with a warm smile and helpful attitude. No formal education is required, but experience or training in hospitality can give you a leg up over other applicants and help you transition into a management role more swiftly.
Median Salary: $22,850
8. Network administrator
If you stay up late glued to a computer screen, why not get paid to do it?
Network administrators typically work overnight to manage computer networks and perform routine maintenance without causing downtime for other employees. Network admins usually require a computer science background (at least a bachelor’s degree).
Median Salary: $81,100
9. ER nurse
Nurses are the backbone of any medical practice, but this is especially true in emergency rooms, where they frequently have the first contact with patients. Nurses administer medications, assist in surgery and help patients understand their illnesses and treatment options.
Registered nurses typically hold a bachelor’s degree and can earn a substantial income by taking the night shift.
Median Salary: $70,000
10. Truck driver
Semitrucks fill our nation’s highways as they deliver food, medicine, technology and other goods to locations across the country. A career as a truck driver can get lonely, but it allows you to see much of the country that you might otherwise never experience.
To become a truck driver, you will need to attend a professional truck driving school and earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). While many truck drivers prefer to drive at night when roads are less busy, they must adhere to strict regulations about how long they can drive without resting.
Median Salary: $42,480
This report was written by Timothy Moore, an editor for a market research company focusing on technology, finance and digitalization. He also works as a freelance writer covering personal finance and automotive advice for sites like The Penny Hoarder, Glassdoor, The News Wheel and more.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or Nationwide Bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 11/1/2018. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.94% – 12.78%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.04% – 13.04%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.34% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.12% – 10.98%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.12% – 13.13%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.92% – 10.01%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.72% – 9.68%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.26% – 12.13%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|