Alberta has long been the reigning champ when it comes to well-paying oil and gas jobs, with Canadians from every corner of the country changing industries and postal codes to get their piece of the pie.

But that crown may have quietly been passed on.

Statistics Canada numbers show that based on average hourly wages, the highest paying industry from coast to coast is what the data agency qualifies as mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. Numbers also show that until November of last year, the Alberta oil patch recorded the highest average hourly wage of any industry in Canada.

The industry with the next highest average hourly wage in Canada was utilities, which recorded a figure of $37.10 an hour as of December; the construction industry came in third with an average hourly wage of $30.71.

Click through the slideshow below to see how all other industries in the country compare.

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  • 18. Accommodation and food services

  • Accommodation and food services

    This industry actually saw their weekly average earnings shrink from $361.73 in February 2012 to $360.44 in February 2013, for a decrease of 0.4 per cent.

  • 17. Arts, entertainment and recreation

  • Arts, entertainment and recreation

    Weekly average wages in this industry grew from $536.35 to $552.70 for a year-over year increase of 3.0 per cent.

  • Educational services

  • Educational services

    Weekly wages in this industry grew modestly year-over-year from $981.08 to $992.77 for an increase of 1.2 per cent.

  • Retail Trade

  • Retail Trade

    The average wages in this industry were also modest, with the weekly earnings averaging at $527.63 and rising from $518.41 for a 1.8 per cent growth.

  • Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

  • Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

    The average weekly paycheque in this industry grew from $732.85 to $762.93, for an increase of 4.1 per cent.

  • Other services (except public administration)

  • Other services (except public administration)

    Average wages here grew from $724.12 to $741.66, for a year-over-year increase of 2.4 per cent.

  • Real estate and rental and leasing

  • Real estate and rental and leasing

    The average wage in this industry was almost unchaged, from $851.73 to $853.69, for a year-over-year growth of 0.2 per cent.

  • Finance and insurance

  • Finance and insurance

    The hourly average wage in this industry is $23.28. Primarily engaged in financial intermediation. They raise funds by taking deposits and/or issuing securities, and, in the process, incur liabilities, which they use to acquire financial assets by making loans and/or purchasing securities. Putting themselves at risk, they channel funds from lenders to borrowers and transform or repackage the funds with respect to maturity, scale and risk. •Primarily engaged in the pooling of risk by underwriting annuities and insurance. They collect fees (insurance premiums or annuity considerations), build up reserves, invest those reserves and make contractual payments. Fees are based on the expected incidence of the insured risk and the expected return on investment.

  • 10. Transportation and warehousing

  • Transportation and warehousing

    The average hourly wage in this industry is $23.57. This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in transporting passengers and goods, warehousing and storing goods, and providing services to these establishments. The modes of transportation are road (trucking, transit and ground passenger), rail, water, air and pipeline. These are further subdivided according to the way in which businesses in each mode organize their establishments. National post office and courier establishments, which also transport goods, are included in this sector. Warehousing and storage establishments are subdivided according to the type of service and facility that is operated. Many of the establishments in this sector are structured as networks, with activities, workers, and physical facilities distributed over an extensive geographic area.

  • 9. Manufacturing

  • Manufacturing

    Per hour, the average wage in this industry is $23.83. Engaged in the physical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products. These products may be finished, in the sense that they are ready to be used or consumed, or semi-finished, in the sense of becoming a raw material for an establishment to use in further manufacturing. Related activities, such as the assembly of the component parts of manufactured goods; the blending of materials; and the finishing of manufactured products by dyeing, heat-treating, plating and similar operations are also treated as manufacturing activities. Manufacturing establishments are known by a variety of trade designations, such as plants, factories or mills.

  • 8. Information and cultural industries

  • Information and cultural industries

    Scores an average hourly wage of $25.44. This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing and distributing (except by wholesale and retail methods) information and cultural products. Establishments providing the means to transmit or distribute these products or providing access to equipment and expertise for processing data are also included. The unique characteristics of information and cultural products, and of the processes involved in their production and distribution, distinguish this sector from the goods-producing and services-producing sectors.

  • 7. Public administration

  • Public administration

    The average hourly wage in this industry is $26.53. This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in activities of a governmental nature, that is, the enactment and judicial interpretation of laws and their pursuant regulations, and the administration of programs based on them. Legislative activities, taxation, national defence, public order and safety, immigration services, foreign affairs and international assistance, and the administration of government programs are activities that are purely governmental in nature.

  • 6. Health care and social assistance

  • Health care and social assistance

    The average hourly wage in this industry across the country is $26.76.

  • 5. Professional, scientific and technical services

  • Professional, scientific and technical services

    The average hourly wage across the country in this industry is $28.02. The main components of this sector are legal services industries, accounting and related services industries, architectural, engineering and related services industries, surveying and mapping services industries, design services industries, management, scientific and technical consulting services industries, scientific research and development services industries, and advertising services industries.

  • 4. Forestry, logging and support

  • Forestry, logging and support

    This industry gets an average hourly wage of $28.60.

  • 3. Construction

  • Construction

    The average hourly wage in this industry is $30.71.

  • 2. Utilities

  • Utilities

    The utilities industry has an average hourly wage of $37.10. This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating electric, gas and water utilities. These establishments generate, transmit, control and distribute electric power; distribute natural gas; treat and distribute water; operate sewer systems and sewage treatment facilities; and provide related services, generally through a permanent infrastructure of lines, pipes and treatment and processing facilities.

  • 1. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

    Based on average hourly wages across the country, at $38.61, this industry pays the highest per hour compared to all others.

The average hourly wage in the oil patch in Alberta, until November was $40.68, high enough to claim the title of highest paying industry in Canada. But that is when Alberta may have reached it's zenith, its climax and has since started going down, ahem, hill.

That average had been in constant decline from it's high mark of $43.32 in August of last year. And as the average hourly wage of those who extract oil and gas in Alberta slowly dropped, those workers doing the same work across the province's eastern border saw their average hourly wage rise and surpass that of Albertans in December.

Saskatchewan is relatively new to the oil and gas, and oilsands game, but an aggressive push to kick start the fledgling industry has already left a deep impact in the once have-not province.

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Saskatchewan is posting an, albeit humble, budget surplus this year. It's energy superpower to the west is deep in the red.

The population in Saskatchewan had for decades been in decline - due to massive exodus of people looking for opportunities in Alberta - but has been able to reverse the tide in the last decade, with more Saskatchewan residents than ever trying their fortune in local industries.

In the last few years, what seemed to be an eternal sleepy real estate market in Saskatchewan has heated up to record levels.

And, if Stats Canada numbers are any indication, those wanting to get the most money from an oil and gas job may have to travel to Saskatchewan, not Alberta.

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