Data released by oilcareers.com this week also found Europe lagging other regions when it comes to the training crucial to maintaining a future supply of skilled workers.
Reuters reports executives at the Offshore Northern Seas conference as saying finding the right talent to keep the industry healthy was becoming a huge headache.
This, according to them, is more so in North America where the shale gas boom has taken off, the news wire said.
“There are not enough people in the US to fuel this beast,” said Robert Potter, vice president of FMC Technologies, a manufacturer of drilling equipment.
“Being able to bring the labour on board to support what we see in the future – that is what keeps me awake at night. That is the biggest challenge we face.”
Oilcareers.com invited 170,000 oil and gas professionals from 50 countries to take part in its survey which was conducted in conjunction with industry consultant Air Energi.
Some 71% of respondents in Asia and Australia expected contract and salary pay to rise further. In the Americas the figure was 56%, and in the former Soviet Union and the Caspian it was 60%. Some 63% expected an increase in the Middle East.
The labour market looked calmer in Africa and Europe, with 47% in both regions expecting a rise, although only 8% predicted a fall in Europe and 15% saw a downturn in Africa.
Oil and gas recently overtook the troubled banking sector as Britain’s best paid industry with average pay of 64,000 pounds ($101,000), oilcareers.com said, adding the hydrocarbons sector needed to improve its image among students.
Meanwhile in Norway, where rates for locals are the highest in the world, according to a February survey by employment group Hays, on average an oil worker earns $180,300.
The shortage is such that the population of industry workers is ageing fast, according to Mark Guest, managing director of oilcareers.com.
“Skilled engineers are being dragged back into the industry and retirements deferred,” he said. “It is a very, very competitive market.”
The new survey suggested the trends outlined in the Hays February data were intact.
Hays said that from over 14,000 respondents among the industry’s employees, almost 50% won rises of more than 5% to their salary, compared with just under 30% in its 2011 survey.