Common Shift Times for Day, Mid, and Night: 8, 10, 12 Hour

Explore the most popular shift lengths and rotations for first responders, and find the best solution for your public safety agency.

February 7, 2022

Article Highlights

With all the details that need to be figured out, switching to new shift lengths and rotations can feel daunting. So, where should you begin?

Start by determining the shift length and shift times. What time will the first shift start? How about the second and third?

There are a few ways to set up shifts, each with its own pros and cons. The key is choosing shift schedules that work best for your employees. Let's explore the most common ones.

Shift times

With 8 and 10 hour shifts, there are three different shift times:

  1. First shift or day shift.
  2. Second shift, swing shift, or mid shift.
  3. Third shift, night shift, or graveyard shift

To keep things simple and consistent, we will refer to them as first, second, and third.

8-hour shifts

Below are the most popular shift times for 8 hour shifts:

  • First: 0700–1500
  • Second: 1500–2300
  • Third: 2300–0700

Roughly 28% of PowerTime law enforcement customers prefer 8-hour shifts for 24/7 patrol coverage. As a pro, this shift time provides a manageable working period for the day. As a con, employees end up working more days because they are only scheduled 8 hours per day.

If 8-hour shifts pique your interest, explore our top 6 recommended rotations.

10-hour shifts

Here are the most common times for 10-hour shifts:

  • First: 0600–1600
  • Second: 1400–0000
  • Third: 2200–0800

Approximately 20% of PowerTime clients operate with 10-hour shifts. Although they offer a balanced workday for employees, they can be complex to manage. Check out these three examples of 10-hour shift rotations.

12-hour shifts

Unlike 8- and 10-hour shifts, 12-hour shifts only require two shift times per day. Here are the two patterns that are most commonly used:

  • Day: 0600–1800, Night: 1800–0600
  • Day: 0700–1900, Night: 1900–0700

12-hour shifts are used by about 40% of PowerTime customers. The beauty of 12-hour shifts lies in their simplicity, with just two shifts to oversee. Here are 7 examples of 12-hour shift rotations.

Final thoughts

Some public safety agencies use unconventional durations like 8.5-hour, 9-hour, or 11-hour shifts.

While these day, mid, and night shift times are most common, that does not mean they are the best for your department. Make sure to evaluate different options and pick the best one for your employees. 

Interested in scheduling software? Learn how PowerTime can help your agency save time, improve communication, reduce staffing errors, and maintain compliance.


Related Article

Footer CTA Image

Learn more about PowerTime

Learn more about PowerTime

Click below to learn more about what PowerTime can do for your agency.

Explore PowerTime

Schedule a Consultation!

Everything you need to train, equip, and protect your public safety employees in a single system – from the moment they’re hired until they retire. Schedule a consultation to learn how PowerDMS can benefit you.