Job Sites for the 10 Largest Cities in Pennsylvania

With a population of more than 12 million people, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the sixth largest US state according to 2010 census data. With this many people, there are bound to be many government jobs to allow citizens to serve the public interest while earning a living.

Below are online job postings and descriptions of the 10 largest cities in Pennsylvania.  

1
Philadelphia

Love sculpture in Philadelphia, PA.
Margie Politzer / Getty Images

Philadelphia is the nation’s fifth largest city and the biggest city in Pennsylvania. The City of Brotherly Love completely fills Philadelphia County and has done so since 1854. The city government took in all the functions of the county government in 1952. From then to today, the city operates under the strong mayor form of government. City Hall is the largest municipal building in the US with more than 14.5 acres of floor space.

The city sits on the northwestern bank of the Delaware River. On the other side is southern New Jersey.

The city is home to many famous landmarks including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House. Philadelphia’s famously raucous sports fans cheer for the National Football League’s Eagles, Major League Baseball’s Phillies, the National Basketball Association’s 76ers and the National Hockey League’s Flyers. As an example of their raucousness, Eagles fans booed and threw snowballs at a man dressed as Santa at a home game in 1968.

According to 2010 US Census data, Philadelphia’s population is 1,526,006.  More

2
PIttsburgh

Roberto Clemente Bridge over the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, PA.
Richard Cummins / Getty Images

Pittsburgh is located where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers merge to form the Ohio River. The point where these bodies of water meet is approximately in the middle of the city. The rivers cut the city into three parts -- a small northern section and larger southern and eastern portions.

The Steel City operates under the strong mayor form of government. The mayor and nine city council members serve four-year terms. Council members are elected by districts.

Pittsburgh’s major professional sports teams are the NFL’s Steelers, MLB’s Pirates and NHL’s Penguins. The University of Pittsburgh has competitive athletic teams competing in the Atlantic Coastal Conference.  

According to 2010 US Census data, Pittsburgh’s population is 305,704.  More

3
Allentown

Allentown is immediately west of Bethlehem, PA, on the Lehigh River in far eastern Pennsylvania. It is about 60 mile north-northwest of Philadelphia.

Like its fellow large cities within the state, Allentown runs under the strong mayor form of government. A seven-member city council serves as the city’s legislative body. The council’s mission statements says its purpose “is to provide, in a democratic and transparent manner, efficient and effective services which will make the City of Allentown a better place in which to live, work and play.”

According to 2010 US Census data, Allentown’s population is 118,032.  More

4
Erie

Erie is in the northwestern portion of Pennsylvania that touches Lake Erie. Pennsylvania has this tiny bit of lakefront because when state lines were drawn, it was important for states to have shipping lanes to and from them. Erie is about 90 miles down the lakefront from Buffalo, New York, to the northeast and 100 miles up the lakefront from Cleveland, Ohio, to the southwest.

The city government operates under the strong mayor form. Like Allentown, the city council has seven members.

According to 2010 US Census data, Erie’s population is 101,786. More

5
Reading

Reading lies in southeastern Pennsylvania halfway between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. It shares its name with the no longer in business Reading Railroad that most people know from the board game Monopoly.

Like other large and mid-size cities in Pennsylvania, Reading governs itself with the strong mayor system. While the mayor is the chief executive, the day-to-day business is run by the town’s managing director which is most analogous to a deputy mayor position but requires many of the same knowledge, skills and abilities as a city manager.

According to 2010 US Census data, Reading’s population is 88,082. More

6
Scranton

Scranton’s biggest claim to fame is being the fictional home of a regional branch of the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company in the American version of the television series The Office. For nine seasons, this mockumentary brought viewers into the lives of longing-for-love regional manager Michael Scott, pining romantic and paper salesman Jim Halpert, Jim’s love interest and receptionist-turned-saleswoman Pam Beesly, weirdo and fellow paper salesman Dwight Schrute and their co-workers.

In the final moments of the series, Pam says, “I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder-Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that kind of the point?” Scranton is seen by those on the outside as an ordinary place, and in the show it was the backdrop for the stories of ordinary characters.

The Electric City is located in northeastern Pennsylvania. It is about a two-hour drive from Scranton to New York City which is why characters in The Office could drive to the Dunder-Mifflin corporate office on a whim.

The city government conforms to the strong mayor system. According to 2010 US Census data, Scranton’s population is 76,089.  More

7
Bethlehem

Bethlehem straddles the Lehigh River immediately east of Allentown. The city is governed under the strong mayor system. The city’s seven council members serve four-year terms. Bethlehem is home to Lehigh University, a private school founded in 1865 with a current enrollment of approximately 7,000 students.

According to 2010 US Census data, Bethlehem’s population is 74,982.  More

8
Lancaster

Lancaster sits in southeastern Pennsylvania about 70 miles west of Philadelphia and about 40 miles southeast of Harrisburg. The city functions under the strong mayor form of government.

Peeps, marshmallow candies shaped like little chicks, were invented in Lancaster in the 1920’s by the Rodda Candy Company. Since then, the product line has expanded to more shapes that make the candies marketable beyond their original Easter season base.

According to 2010 US Census data, Lancaster’s population is 59,322.  More

9
Harrisburg

Harrisburg Pennsylvania
Henryk Sadura / Getty Images

Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania, so commonwealth agencies are headquartered here. Four states refer to themselves as commonwealths: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts and Kentucky. Calling themselves commonwealths instead of states has no practical implications for the operations of government.

The city government operates under the strong mayor form of government. The mayor is the chief executive who serves a four year term with no term limits. The city council is comprised of seven members. Additionally, the city controller and city treasurer are elected positions.

According to 2010 US Census data, Harrisburg’s population is 49,528.  More

10
Altoona

Altoona is about 100 miles east of Pittsburg in western Pennsylvania. Unlike the nine cities larger than Altoona, it functions under the council-manager form of government. In this set-up, the mayor and council set policy direction for the city, and the manager handles the day-to-day business of the city. Where the mayor supervises city staff under the strong mayor system, the city manager supervises staff in the council-manager system. The council supervises the city manager.

According to 2010 US Census data, Altoona’s population is 46,320. 

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