Pittsburgh’s economy has adapted since the collapse of the steel industry and has shifted largely to technology, robotics, healthcare, engineering, tourism, education, and finance, with most of its corporate employers operating within these industries. The total annual payroll of the region’s tech industries exceeded $10 billion and in 2010 there were around 1,600 technology companies operating in the area.
The National Bureau of Economic Research named Pittsburgh the second best US city for living the ‘American Dream’ in 2014, and well-known companies like Google have research and technology offices in the city. Almost every type of industry is represented somewhere within the city limits.
Pittsburgh’s transition from industrial powerhouse to example of diverse economic mobility has been hugely influential over other cities, with many working hard to mirror aspects of their industries and economic base in order to try and strengthen them. It is estimated that about 300,000 people – almost equivalent to the city’s population – work in Pittsburgh and its various districts. Much of the city’s workforce is focused around university buildings, either as academics, students or staff, or as additional staff working in maintenance or catering, for example. With its 68 colleges and universities, there is no doubt that Pittsburgh’s education industry is amongst the most important and profitable in the city, and even the world.
Finding a job in Pittsburgh is much the same as in other parts of the world and – certainly in many of the more modern industries – it is a process that is largely undertaken online, until applicants are selected for interview or further correspondence with the potential employer. There are hundreds of job sites that operate using email applications and job board style menus. Of course, more traditional methods of job hunting still remain, and handing out CVs or looking for Help Wanted signs still works, particularly for minimum wage and non-career occupations.
Some industries are of course more concentrated on certain parts of the city and it is worth researching this, especially when you are considering where you would like to live. Given the size of the city, it is worth living as close as possible to your place of work to avoid long commutes.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre employs the most people in the city with just over 40,000 staff, and it is followed by the University of Pittsburgh itself with around 12,000 more employees. Therefore if you are searching for a job in the education sector, there are few places better to look. Several other organizations – including Carnegie Mellon University and US Steel – also operate with staff numbering in the thousands and there are even nine Fortune 500 companies to be found in the city.
As many businesses will operate job searches via their own websites or not openly advertise open positions straight away, business networking and recruitment specialists may well help you find the perfect position for work in Pittsburgh.
Neither the State of Pennsylvania or the City of Pittsburgh require any special work permits beyond the standard Employment Authorization Document (EAD) required by all non-US citizens to prove that they are legally allowed to work in the USA.
The type of EAD that you require is dependent on the type of work and length of stay you are planning, but all of them are enforced similarly. For most expats, employment authorization is already included in their visa.
For shorter visits the United States for business purposes you need no EAD and only have to obtain a visa as a temporary visitor for business (B-2). If you qualify for admission without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program, you won’t even have to do that. To find out how you as a potential expat can apply for a visa, visit the Bureau of Consular Affair’s website on U.S. visas.