What Is the 3rd Shift?


Quick Answer

The third shift, often referred to as the midnight shift or the graveyard shift, is a work shift, typically full-time, that covers most of the night-time hours, including midnight. Businesses that run a third shift are typically open or active 24 hours a day.

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Full Answer

Typical third-shift workers include health care professionals, warehouse and manufacturing laborers and fast-food workers. While third-shift work often pays a premium compared to the other shifts, workers often have problems, ranging from child care scheduling to a chronic lack of sleep. In an attempt to address this, some businesses require swing shifts, with workers varying shifts from week to week, so no employee has to work third shift all the time.

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