Mining jobs the highest paid

The mining and oil and gas industries have confirmed their spot at the top of Australia's wage scale, according to the latest Hay Group salary index.

According to the report mining and oil and gas wages have been commanding premiums up to 35.5 per cent higher than average wages.

In regional Western Australia salaries are the highest, coming in 16.8 per cent above the market average.

Behind WA Hay Group said regional Queensland and South Australia came a "distant second and third" commanding salaries 1.83 per cent and 1.03 per cent above average.

Hay Group senior consultant Steven Paola said in a statement the resources boom was driving strong growth in mining wages and demand for workers was high.

"The continued minerals boom has resulted in high demand for key skilled roles that subsequently attract a pay premium in regional areas such as in Western Australia," he said.

Paola also said the pay gap between mining and other sectors of the economy had "widened dramatically".

The report marked mining and petroleum engineers, construction project managers, and exploration specialists as some of the hottest jobs commanding the highest salaries.

Overall Hay Group said Australians outside the mining sector could expect a four per cent pay rise in 2012, with mining and oil and gas workers expecting a 6.3 per cent rise.