Employment Trends

The best jobs you can work during the graveyard shift

Written by Kate Lopaze

Not everyone is meant for a 9-to-5 life. Or maybe you’re looking for a side hustle to supplement your 9-to-5 life. Or…maybe you’re a vampire. Whatever the case may be, we don’t judge—and we have some of the best jobs out there for night owls.

1. Air Traffic Controller

This is not your quiet, sit-back-and-read kind of night job. It’s a “pound that espresso, because you need to be on it” night job, one for people who can be organized and diligent at any hour of the day or night. Air traffic controllers are responsible for coordinating aircraft takeoffs and landings at airports and communicate directly with pilots about runway conditions, weather, and other issues that can impact a safe takeoff or landing.

To score this job, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, and to complete a Federal Aviation Administration training program. Because this is a highly specialized job that requires amazing attention to detail and the ability to stay calm under any conditions, it’s a lucrative one as well: the median salary is $122,950 per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Paramedic/EMT

Speaking of jobs that require calm under pressure, paramedics and EMTs are high on that list as well. This is a job that can have you on call during any shift of the day, responding to emergency calls and helping people in a variety of medical or emergency situations.

To become a paramedic/EMT, you’ll need an associate’s degree and/or a certificate from a paramedic-specific allied health programs (some require up to 1,200 hours for certification). All states require candidates to pass a national exam before they can be certified and ready to hit the streets. The median salary is $32,670 per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

3. Rideshare Service Driver

While there aren’t quite as many people out and about at midnight as, say, 6 p.m., plenty of people still need to get around at all hours of the night—coming home from bars, clubs, working late, etc. That’s often where rideshare drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft come in.

To become a rideshare driver, you’ll need a valid driver’s license and a decent vehicle, plus you’ll need to pass a background check. Rideshare drivers can make up to $30 an hour, depending on location and tips.

4. Casino Dealer

If you’ve ever been in a casino, you might have noticed they’re not big on clocks—all the better to keep people gambling all night without realizing how late it is. That means casinos have staff on hand at all times of day or night, including the graveyard shifts. Dealers lead casino games (craps, blackjack, poker, and more) and handle money transactions on behalf of the casino. Not everyone lives near a casino, but if you do, it can be a good option for your night job.

To become a casino dealer, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent, and may need to pass a background check (given that you’ll be dealing with significant amounts of money). You should also have good math skills and attention to detail.

5. Security Guard

When you think of a night job, this might be the one that comes to mind. Security guards are responsible for making sure that premises are secure all night long, even if no one else is there. Depending on the company, it can be a very low-stress night job, letting you multitask with schoolwork, reading, or other activities that let you keep an eye on what’s going on.

To become a security guard, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, plus receive on-the-job training. You may also need to be trained in handling weapons, depending on the job.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.