Last Updated on 2023-11-16

How Amazon Night Shifts Work: Pay, Schedules, & More

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Phil Grossman

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

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Paul Avila

T3 Asssociate with 1+ years of experience working in the Packer, and Waterspider roles.

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Ozy Watson

T1 Asssociate with 1+ year of experience working in the Unloader, Scanner, Stager, Stower, Picker, Inducter, Pusher, Diverter, and Pick-to-Buffer roles

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Dustin Stowell

T2 in a Sortation Center with 3+ years of experience working in the Problem Solver, Scanner, Stager, Picker, Stower, Waterspider, Material Handler, and Unloader roles

This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, particularly in relation to the impacts of working night shifts as discussed in this post.

Amazon works at night — it’s a company that never sleeps. That’s good news for night owls: if you’re someone that works better at night (or if you want to keep your days free), there are lots of opportunities available to you at Amazon warehouses. 

Amazon offers night shifts at most of its warehouses, including fulfillment centers (FCs), sortation centers (SCs), and delivery stations (DSs). You may be used to calling these shifts “overnight shifts,” “3rd shift,” or “evening shift,” but Amazon considers all of these part of the  night shift. 

Even though the evening shift is considered part of the night shift, “evening” refers specifically to night shifts that start slightly earlier. 

According to Amazon’s job portal, night shifts typically start between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. and end between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. Evening shifts start a little earlier, often around 8:00 p.m. However, there are lots of possible variations that don’t fit neatly inside this general definition. 

The length of the shift depends on what type of warehouse you’re working in — FCs tend to have longer shifts, on the order of 8-12 hours, SC shifts are usually 3-5 hours, and DS shifts are typically around 8-10 hours. 

When you work the night shift, you typically earn a higher wage than you would if you worked a daytime shift — night shift workers typically get an extra $0.50-$3.50/hour on top of their normal wages. But there’s a potential tradeoff: working the night shift has been connected to poor health outcomes, so you could end up sacrificing your health for a bit more cash. 

We’ll cover those considerations along with how to find available night shifts and more in this post. If you want a more general review of shifts at Amazon Warehouse, read our full post about shifts.

What is the Amazon night shift?

The Amazon night shift is any shift that starts in the evening or night. Amazon says that night shifts typically start between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m and end between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., but there may be cases where the night shift starts a little earlier or ends a little later. Evening shifts start a bit earlier, often around 8:00 p.m.

Keep in mind that not all night shifts conform to Amazon’s definition. Ozy Watson, a T1 associate at a California DS, says, “the main night shift in a DS is 3:20am-11:50am.” 

What kinds of Amazon employees can work night shifts?

Most employees at Amazon warehouses can work night shifts, regardless of whether you’re working full-time, part-time, reduced-time, flex-time, or seasonally. Night shifts are available at all three of the main types of warehouses: fulfillment centers, sortation centers, and delivery stations. 

Ozy adds that night shifts “are also generally available at specialized locations such as XL delivery stations, SSD (Sub-Same-Day) fulfillment centers and delivery stations, and Prime Now fulfillment centers.”

If you work a fixed schedule, there are three ways you can work night shifts: you can either apply for a night shift position from the get-go, or you can take on night shifts as part of voluntary extra time (VET), which allows you to take on extra shifts if you want to get in more hours. However, VET isn’t available to all warehouse employees, so if you really want to work nights, your best bet is to apply for a night shift position. 

Dustin Stowell, who has over three years of experience working in Amazon warehouses, adds that “Shift Choice is an option for current Amazon Associates who want to work evenings. This is a great option. However, it’s unavailable during blackout periods and is subject to business needs.”

Alternatively, you can apply to a position that offers flexible schedules (aka flex-time or flex schedules). On a flex schedule, you have a minimum and maximum number of hours you need to work each week, but no set shifts. Instead, every Friday, Amazon posts shifts on the A to Z site (you’ll sign up for this when you get hired), and you choose the shifts you want. If you want to work nights, you can choose those. 

But be warned: shifts get grabbed up fast, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to work nights on a flex schedule. Once again, if working nights is your goal, apply to a position that gives you them from the start. 

Does Amazon pay more for night shift work?

Yes, Amazon offers premium pay to night shift workers. There’s no uniform premium differential across the entire company, so the bonus pay will vary depending on what warehouse you work at. Some Amazon employees that work night shift report they get an extra $0.50/hour, and others report an extra $3.50/hour. 

Amazon has a handy jobs portal that lets you view all the warehouse jobs near you and filter them according to the criteria you select. 

At the top of the page, you’ll see a navigation bar that allows you to change the criteria of your search: 

If you select “Add Filter,” a filter pane will appear:

Here, you can select what you’re looking for, such as full-time jobs, part-time jobs, night shifts, evening shifts, etc. When you’ve made your selections, choose “Show 63 results” to see the jobs that meet your search criteria. You can also select “Guided” at the top right, which will walk you through the search process step by step.

When you’ve done so, you’ll see a list of jobs that meet your search criteria:

If you select one of the jobs, you’ll arrive at a screen with information about the job. On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a drop down menu entitled “Work shift”:

Clicking/tapping this menu will bring up a pane that contains a list of available shifts:

The “Shift” section tells you which days you’ll be working and at what times. The number in parentheses followed by an “h” tells you how many hours per week you’ll work. For example, if you select the first shift in the list, you’ll work 16 hours per week, with a four hour shift from 12:15am to 4:15am every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You’ll start on November 25, 2023, you’ll earn $19.00/hour, and you’ll be a seasonal (non-permanent, maximum of 11 months unless you later convert to a permanent position) employee.

Notice too that these positions offer a $1,000 sign-on bonus and a shift differential (bonus hourly payment), called premium pay, which isn’t reflected in the listed hourly rate. 

When you’ve selected your preferred shift, the pane will automatically close, and you can select “Apply” at the top right above the dropdown menu to begin the application process:

Is the night shift bad for your health?

Recent research shows that working the night shift can lead to serious health issues, like heart attacks and diabetes. Some health experts are even giving the issue a name: shift work disorder

For most people, working the night shift for a long period of time is probably not ideal. 

But there may be one caveat: the health issues that come from working the night shift appear to be a result of disrupting the body’s natural 24-hour circadian rhythm. However, there are some people whose body clocks don’t follow the normal 24-hour pattern, which means the same problematic disruption might not occur. For example, some people have sleep disorders such as Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder and Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS), which means they have a different natural sleep rhythm. 

Being a night owl is a trait that’s determined partly by your genetics, and if your genes predispose you towards a late schedule, then working the night shift may not be as much of an issue as it lines up more with your body’s natural rhythm.

Indeed, recent research led by a team at the University of Oxford shows that having night owl genetics can reduce the sleep penalties associated with night work by up to 28%. A very small portion of those night owls who have a particularly strong genetic predisposition to late schedules may actually experience no sleep penalty at all — or even sleep more than expected!

But it’s important to remember that most people are not night owls, so this is only relevant to a small portion of the population. 

So, what’s the bottom line? For most people, night work probably isn’t ideal, but it may be ok for some. If you’re considering working the night shift, speak with your healthcare provider to discuss how night work fits into your overall health profile.

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