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7 Careers Tailor-Made For Night Owls

Written by: Tracy Briggs
Published on: Oct 11, 2017

person on comupter picture

The world is ruled by early birds. There, I said it (or typed it anyway, with disgust in every keystroke). I don’t know where it all began, but long ago it was decided that school and work should begin first thing in the morning—sometimes before the sun even rises. Seriously? Why?

What’s wrong with sleeping in a bit, letting the day unfold, and slowly making your way out the door to tackle the day’s responsibilities?  It’s certainly better than stumbling out the door at the crack of dawn, rubbing sleep out of your eyes, guzzling coffee, and cursing Jimmy Fallon for making you stay up later than you wanted to. Darn you Jimmy! Why’d you have to be so funny?

The good news is many jobs out there  could make this Utopian world of late-sleeping a reality. Jobs tailor-made for night owls. Let’s take a look and celebrate with a big Hoot Hoot and Yawn!

Bartender making a drink

Bartender/Bar Owner

An obvious choice. You seldom meet a drink slinger who has to arrive on the job before noon. Many bartenders and bar owners are more likely to show up in the late afternoon when many nine-to-fivers are just getting off work. You’re part server, part counselor, and best of all, you get your ZZZ’s. On the downside, you sometimes have to hang out with drunks until 3am.


Man using laptop in bedroom

Freelance Writer

Many writers will tell you they get most inspired after the sun goes down. Something about the dark of night gets the creative juices flowing (or perhaps they’re visiting their bartender friends too much). Writer Jonathan Manor said people who write at night are more likely to be productive because they aren’t distracted by the day. He says morning writers “race to the finish,” cranking out pages just to get them done  Manor said writing at night allows you to reflect on the lessons and experiences from your day and just be yourself.


Traffic control

Air Traffic Controller 

Airlines don’t close up shop at 5 PM, so they need air traffic controllers who are able to stay awake on the job. This is one of highest paying jobs for night owls, with a median salary of about $120,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In some cases, air traffic controllers stay with one shift. At other times, you’ll be asked to rotate from day to night shift, so flexibility is a plus.


Doctor and nurse examining patient in hospital room


Speaking of rotating shifts, nurses are sometimes asked to change work hours from nights to days to weekends. And it’s not just checking up on sleeping patients. Nurses handle emergencies and are responsible for charting and other more tedious tasks. Best if you can stay awake for it. Your patients will appreciate it.


Male croupier turning over card at Blackjack table, close-up


Most casinos operate 24 hours a day, but their heaviest traffic (and tips) come after 9 PM. If blackjack dealers, cocktail servers, and other employees are willing to work past midnight, they’ll most likely see tips go up as drinks go down.


News Anchor Under Stage Lights

News Anchors

News is a 24-hour business as well. As Ben Hanson mentioned in his post, 7 Careers Tailor-Made for Early Birds,  morning is prime time for some in the news biz, including morning show anchors, producers, meteorologists, and drive time radio DJ’s. But the highest paid people in television news usually work the late shift, anchoring the 6pm, 10pm, and 11pm news.


Baker using rolling pin on dough


his choice seems a little counter-intuitive, because we associate bakeries with all things morning. But if you’re going to enjoy that donut, bagel, or scone with your morning coffee, someone needs to be working the night shift to make it for you. Many bakers will start work at 2 am, others can sleep in until 4 am. The median salary for bakers is about $23,000, but sampling the goodies is priceless.


Whether you jump out of bed with the rooster’s crow or party until the cows come home, most career counselors will suggest, first and foremost, find a career that sparks your interest. If it works well with your natural body rhythms…all the better.