Published: 29 Sep 2009
After your part II degree, you should look for practical experience that is relevant to the type of role you would like to find once you have fully qualified.
If you would like to work in a specific sector, apply to practices that specialise in that sector. Bear in mind that the work on your part II placement can form part of your final degree project.
Your architecture school may have contacts with practices who will be able to offer you advice or a placement.
It is worth applying to larger practices for your second year of practical experience as a recognisable name may boost your CV and offer you experience on larger projects.
Don't be afraid to turn up in person at a practice to introduce yourself - make appointments with directors of practices you admire and ask them for advice. It is also worth attending RIBA events and other industry parties to meet practice partners and directors who will be able to offer you advice and, possibly, a part II placement.
You should be making contacts for your future career - it is common for part II work placements to turn into permanent jobs once you have fully qualified.
Do not expect to be paid for overtime. Employers will expect more from post part II employees than part I qualified students, although you may not be paid much more.
You can find out more about what you can expect to earn as an architectural assistant here.
It is also possible to complete your post part II practical experience abroad, but check that your work fulfils the RIBA and ARB requirements for your part III qualification.
To take the part III exam and become a fully qualified architect you must complete at least 12 months of professional experience in the UK, so if you worked abroad after part I, you will need to find a placement in the UK after part II.
If you are struggling to find work, you may want to investigate taking additional courses in specialist or transferable skills or a second language to improve your CV. You may also consider taking a job in another construction discipline such as engineering which may still count towards your practical experience.
For more tips on professional development visit RIBA's Professional Education and Development Resource