FURTHER evidence of the strength of the oil and gas industry has emerged as new figures show it is the highest earning sector for workers.

The average salary for an oil and gas employee who is not in a management role rose £5,000 in two years to reach £47,168, according to data based on advertisements on the s1jobs website. IT and telecommunications was next, with an average salary of £43,930, which was up £4,000 over 24 months.

Gavin Mochan, head of sales with S1 jobs, said: "The high salaries in the oil and gas sector will not be a surprise to many and our findings do reinforce that the industry is growing faster than others in Scotland. However, it's fantastic to see specialist skills such as IT/Telecommunications also enjoying similar growth and not trailing very far behind. In general these findings illustrate a very healthy picture of the job market in Scotland, following such a tough economic period and we are definitely seeing very positive signs."

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Also making the top five were engineering and technical, financial services and procurement.