More than two-thirds of oil and gas companies surveyed said they were worried that wages were rising too fast
A severe shortage in qualified staff will push the average wage in the oil and gas industry up by 15% this year to £73,600, a report has suggested.
The forecast came in a survey of more than 2,200 oil and gas companies by recruitment firm Oilandgaspeople.com.
The survey also found 70% of oil and gas companies were worried that wages were rising too fast.
Oilandgaspeople.com suggested demand for qualified staff was set to reach an all-time high.
Survey participants included firms involved in offshore and health and safety activities.
Firms blamed different reasons for the skills shortage, with 35% suggesting it had been caused by too little investment in apprenticeships because of an assumption that North Sea Oil was in decline.
Nearly half of respondents (46%) suggested the skills shortage had been driven by growing demand for UK staff to work abroad.
Oilandgaspeople.com chief executive Kevin Forbes, said: "Our survey shows that with increased investment in North Sea Oil, demand for qualified staff is set to reach an all-time high, which will exacerbate an already serious skills shortage.
"It is a problem that is being further exacerbated as UK candidates head abroad to earn even higher wages with a huge demand for qualified expats globally.
"Terms and conditions are increasing at the same time as UK oil and gas companies try to compete for a dwindling number of skilled staff.
"The companies are right to pinpoint the dual impact of historic lack of training and pressure from well-paid jobs abroad."
He added: "With the record investment in North Sea Oil in the last few months, this pressure on wages and skilled staff does not look likely to end any time soon."