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Common Shift Times for Day, Mid, and Night - 8, 10, and 12 hour

Cropped image of the sky with the moon.

Let's say you're looking at switching your personnel shift lengths and rotations. But there are so many details to figure out.

Where do you start? Well, once you have shift length decided, the next thing is to decide shift times. 

What time will the first shift start? Second shift? Third shift?

There are several different ways you can set it up.

But here we will cover the most popular that we've seen our clients use.

*Who are our clients? Most of our clients are law enforcement, EMS, fire departments, and dispatch centers.


With 8 and 10 hour shifts, there are 3 different shift times. The first one is commonly known as first shift or day shift. The second one is known as second shift, swing shift, or mid shift. And lastly there is third shift, night shift, or also known as graveyard shift hours. Here, to keep things consistent we will just go by first, second and third.

Unlike 8 and 10 hour shifts, 12 hour shifts only require 2 shift times per day. Let's take a look at some of the options!

8 hour shifts

Below are the most popular shift times we've seen used for 8 hour shifts:

First: 0700-1500

Second: 1500-2300

Third: 2300-0700

Approximately 28% of PlanIt Police customers use 8 hour shifts to schedule 24x7 coverage on patrol.

8 hour shifts are favorable because it is a manageable time to be on the job for the day.

However, employees end up working more days because they are only scheduled 8 hours.

If your department is considering switching to 8-hour shifts, check out the top 6 rotations here!

10 hour shifts

The most common shift times for 10 hour shifts are:

First: 0600-1600

Second: 1400-0000

Third: 2200-0800

10 hour shifts are used by about 20% of our clients.

They can be a great option for employees yet complex to manage.

See 3 examples of 10-hour shift rotations here

12 hours shifts

There are 2 shift times, only an hour difference, that are most commonly used:

Day: 0600-1800

Night: 1800-0600



Night:  1900-0700

12 hour shifts are used by approximately 40% of our clients. They make scheduling a bit simpler since you are only dealing with 2 shift times.

See 7 different 12-hour shift rotation examples here


The rest of our clients use different shift times than 8, 10 or 12. For example 8.5 hour, 9 or 11 hour shifts.

While these day, mid, and night shift times are most common in our experience that does not mean they are the best for your department.

Make sure to evaluate different options and pick the best one for your organization. 


Need somewhere to test your new schedules and shifts?

We created an Excel workbook with our schedule examples pre-configured in the sheets. All you have to do is enter a key with the shift times and add your employees. Download the free workbook below!

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About Us

PlanIt Police scheduling software is extremely powerful yet easy-to-use. It is meant to simplify scheduling and enhance communication for law enforcement agencies. PlanIt was developed by Ragnasoft, Inc who have specialized in public safety scheduling solutions for over 10 years.

Contact Us

PO BOX 4903
Lancaster PA 17604
717-925-3908 (fax)
Contact Us
PlanIt Police

PlanIt Police is an online scheduling system for police departments. PlanIt is developed by Ragnasoft, Inc which has specialized in public safety scheduling solutions for over 10 years.

Our Contacts

PO BOX 4903
Lancaster, PA 17604
Phone: 1-866-471-2001
Fax: 1-717-925-3908
Email: sales@planitschedule.com