From cooks and carpenters to nurses and analysts, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is looking to fill hundreds of positions in the York and Harrisburg areas.

With nearly 74,000 employees statewide, it's not unusual for the state to have multiple openings in an area at a given time, said Dan Egan, press secretary with the Office of Administration, the state's human resources agency.

There's a wide array of positions, with the state having more than 2,000 job classifications, he said. The state hires everyone from scientists to food inspectors to work in locations including museums, highways and parks.

While pay varies by position, the average salary of a commonwealth employee is $50,598, according to the 2012 State Government Workforce Statistics report.

Egan said state employees are expected to work as hard as those in the private sector, but they're rewarded with "good benefits," including insurance and paid leave.

The average state employee pays 3 percent of his or her gross income toward health benefits, he said.

Jobs are both union and non-union, civil-service and non-civil-service, Egan said. He recommended people looking for jobs apply in both categories.

Qualifications also vary by position.

Full descriptions of positions and the necessary requirements are explained on the state's employment website, www.employment.pa.gov, where job-seekers can apply.

Interns: The state's Department of Transportation also recently started accepting applications for the 2013 Summer Employment Program for interning college students.

Applicants must be 18 years of age, have a Pennsylvania driver's license and be enrolled in college for the fall 2013 semester.

The crews are hired from May through August to supplement the permanent workforce. The deadline for applications is March 30.

To apply, visit www.employment.pa.gov and click on the "job opportunities" link under "Applicants" on the right. Then select "Internship" under "Search criteria."

-- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.