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Business

Where to find the jobs in a difficult economy

HEALTH CARE

HOT JOBS

Home health aide

Physician assistant

Registered nurse

Medical biller

SALARY

Home health aide, $24,300;

Physician assistant, $93,140

PROJECTED GROWTH

2006 to 2016:

14.3 to 42%

Long Island's aging population, new treatments and cures as well as the trend toward home care instead of nursing home care are all fueling the rapid growth in the health care job market.

"It was the only private-sector industry to continue to generate jobs during the recession on Long Island," said Pearl Kamer, chief economist for the Long Island Association.

Lori Spina, vice president of human resources at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, notes that stability, good health benefits as well as opportunities for tuition reimbursement and advancement - common at many health facilities - are some of the reasons people are flocking to the health care field. The medical center, which includes in its network a county community health center, a nursing home, a home health department, two dialysis centers and a pediatric specialty care center, hires at the steady pace of about 500 people annually.

Others in the industry are filling jobs as well.

Over the past few months, Patrick Stryker, owner and president of the Bellmore-based ABC Employment Agency of Long Island, has seen an uptick in positions, especially in the medical field. Among the most requested job placement positions have been physician assistant, medical biller, and registered nurse and certified nursing assistant, both with nursing home experience, as well as administrative jobs, he said.

Abby Bowen is one of four recent hires at All Island Dermatology, which has offices in Garden City and Glen Cove. She recently graduated from Cornell University's surgical physician assistant program with a master's in health studies. Bowen, 25, of Manhattan, found her job through ABC Employment's online ad.

"Stick with a specialty you really want," Bowen advises job seekers. "If no jobs are available at the time, just keep interviewing and eventually something will come up."

A job in the medical field can offer a good salary, benefits and stability, but a passion for the work has to come first, said Vita Rizzo, 54, of St. James, a breast cancer survivor who is a clerk in the mammography unit of Good Samaritan's radiology department. She will start a nursing program in the fall with financial help from Good Samaritan, she said.- Keiko Morris

FINANCE

Personal financial adviser

SALARY

Entry, $48,740;

experienced, 146,530

PROJECTED GROWTH

2006 to 2016

26.2%

About eight months ago, John Witzenbocker, 25, of Sag Harbor, was working as a hospital lab technician, but said, "I knew I had a different calling." He thinks he's found it at Quinlan Financial Group in Commack, where he was hired in December as a financial representative. As an entry-level adviser, Witzenbocker offers overall guidance to clients and helps them choose insurance and investment products. Actually, he said he sees a parallel between the two professions: "In both you have the ability to help people and make a significant impact in their lives."

These days plenty of people are looking for financial advice, given recent layoffs, the financial meltdown and looming retirement of a significant number of baby boomers. While there's uncertainty over "how the big financial services firms will come back," when it comes to hiring, "within that picture the personal financial adviser is a more clear call," said Gary Huth, the New York State Labor Department's principal economist for Long Island.

Industry insiders agree.

"More and more people are seeking guidance," said Kimberly Buck, director of selection for Quinlan Financial Group, an affiliate of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual, which this year plans to recruit more than 2,300 financial representatives and 2,500 interns nationally.

For its offices in Commack, Bohemia and Great Neck, she said she has brought onboard 18 new hires over the past five months, and is expecting to hire another 50 financial representatives and 20 interns in the coming year. - Patricia Kitchen

GREEN JOBS

HOT JOBS

Geothermal-heating installer

Environmental scientist

SALARY

Installer, $52,730;

scientist, $73,300

PROJECTED GROWTH

2006 to 2016: Some areas up to 29%

Kevin Godfrey entered the nascent green jobs field in 2007. His company, GreenAdam Geothermal in Stony Brook, installs geothermal heating systems that use ground water to heat and cool homes. The early years were lean: An average of one to two calls a week that resulted in one project every other month, Godfrey said.

"We . . . paid our dues with very slow growth," he said.

But today the company, which has seven employees, receives 30 to 50 calls a week, netting about five to 10 projects a month, Godfrey said.

Three weeks ago, the company hired Edward Batcheller, 55, of Westhampton as a system designer and installer.

For him the green industry melds his passion with a livelihood. "It's something I would promote anyway," Batcheller said. "I believe in it."

And he thinks the industry has a bright future because of federal and other tax credits for energy efficiency.

- Carrie Mason-Draffen

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