Apprentice Certification                   Cost: $5,200                         From:  May-October

Estimated Time:  One 6 month Building Season, or two 3 month semesters

Prerequisites: Participants should be at least 18 years of age, in good health, and have health insurance. Applicants should have the funds to pay for the full apprenticeship tuition, plus have extra spending money saved up.  Students need to be able to pass a drug test and be willing to refrain from drug use and drink alcohol while in the program, including after work and on weekends.  Participants do not need any building experience.

Disposition:  The participants interested in joining the school should be people who are spiritual, love yoga and meditation, have high energy, love to work hard, be able to stay upbeat, happy, and energetic during long work days.  They should be organized and willing to go the extra mile with a smile.  Students should be able to get up early and work late.  They need to be the kind of person who can follow instruction and are willing to think outside the box.   Ideal applicants are early to work, return back to work on time after breaks, do not mind staying late to get the job done, and are willing to start early to prepare for the day.  The student should be the kind of person who doesn’t need drugs or alcohol to relax.  A person who is flexible with scheduling and able to adapt in a moment’s notice, happily.  Able to let things roll off their back if plans change.  Overall, a happy, healthy, person with a good attitude, that is a team player. 

Do not apply:  In our past, we have experienced all kinds of situation, most of them very positive, but a few not so positive.  We decided to put together a list of the not so positive attributes that really changed the energy of the group, and affected all of us.  By no means is this list to scare you away from the program.  We know there is a little of these attributes in all of us.  Really, we just want to attract people with the positive depositions mentioned above, and be open and clear about what type of people we don’t wish to attract.  So please do not apply if you are not a morning person.  If “low energy,” is part of your life.  If you have any health issues or injuries, that could keep you from doing hard manual labor work.  If you don’t consider yourself a positive, energetic, happy person, don’t apply.  If you smoke pot, or need to drink alcohol to relax after work or during the weekends, do not apply.   Do not come to our program to quit a substance, or to change your habits.  If you are having a life changing crisis, or going through a difficult time in life, do not apply.  Do not come to our program if you don’t like to be told what to do, or have trouble following orders.  If you are not a team player, if you are not organized, if you are late consistently, if self worth is an issue, if you do not have funds saved up to pay for the whole program plus have savings for spending money, do not apply.  If changing plans drives you crazy, if you have a hard time being spontaneous, if you need things to go your way, and you get frustrated if it doesn’t, do not apply.



In the conventional construction world, most people are required to fulfill a three- or four-year apprenticeship with at least 144 hours of classroom instruction and 2,000 hours of annual on-the-job training. Apprentices learn blueprint reading, city and state building code requirements, and safety procedures at project sites. They also learn how to build scaffolds and work in confined spaces and at heights. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age, and may be expected to have a high school diploma or GED, pass a drug screening, be a legal U.S. resident or pass a physical examination.

In Natural Building, the learning curve is less.  There are still very important building practices one must learn, but overall the principles of natural buildings are intuitively straightforward.  In most cases participants with no building experience can quickly grasp the process and the techniques.



Participants coming for the Apprenticeship program will need to pay $500 at time of acceptance, which is non refundable.  The remainder of the tuition will need to be paid in full 30 days before arrival.  The participants have 30 day’s to withdraw from the program to receive the majority of tuition refund.  The refund, if the participant withdraws from program within 30 days will be $4,200.  If the apprentice withdraws from the program after the 30 day grace period, the participants forfeits all funds.  If the participant fails the program, they also forfeit all funds.  Please read the terms of agreement for more information. 

To receive the Apprentice Certification, the participants will need to complete a minimum of 1000 hours on the job training, along with 80 hours of classroom instruction.  The 6 month Apprentice Certification in Natural Building is the most indispensable certification we have to offer.  The recipients of this certification will leave the program knowing the basic concepts and principles of natural building, permaculture, and design.  The participant will join the construction crew at whatever stage the building process is in, depending on when they join the program.  Based on the timing, the participant may or may not be able to receive a PDC with this certification.  This will need to be looked at on an individual basis, and talked over in-depth before the start of their program.  



What the Apprenticeship program will include:

•Apprentices will participate in the day to day activities that are integral to the construction of our natural building projects and the permaculture gardens.

•Apprentices will be required to work 40 hours per week

•8 hours of the work week will be devoted to learning and working in the permaculture garden.

•32 hours per week will be devoted to Natural Building.

•All participants will take turns cooking and serving each other, as well as helping clean and maintain the campsite, composting toilets, and shower stalls.   

•There are work parties and workshops that happen during some weekends, which the apprentices are required to participate in. 

•There will also be 3 hours of class time per week, which will alternate between classes in Natural Building, Raja Yoga, and Natural Living Practices. 

•The apprenticeship is for a minimum of 6 months.

The main focus of the apprenticeship program will be:

•To teach each apprentice all aspects of natural building, from design to natural finishes

•To gain hands on experience with natural building, sustainable living, and permaculture gardening

•To support the spirit within each apprentice, and help them build a solid foundation for inner growth. The apprenticeship program is not just about natural building, permaculture, and natural living, it is about awakening their inner potential and gaining confidence to be able to make their dreams come true and spreading these unalienable rights.  All aspects of natural building will be covered no matter how long the apprentice stays, or when they come, but actual hands on experience will be determined by the length and timing of the apprentice’s stay.


Job Description:

As an Apprentice, the main job will be site management and material management.  This means that the apprentice will be in charge of making sure the job site is alway picked up and clean.  Every tool is well kept and organized.  All materials are prepped and ready before they are needed.  They will be responsible for making sure materials are delivered in a timely manner, and are of the best quality.  All equipment used will need to be cleaned and prepped for use ahead of the beginning of the work day.  Supplies needed will need to be managed and ordered by apprentices ahead of schedule.  After all these tasks are complete, apprentices will be given time to work with a crew member as an assistant, and begin to learn the ins and outs of working on a natural construction crew.   The apprentice will get to participate in all building basics mentioned above.  The amount of time allowed on these basic skills will depend on the apprentice and their willingness to keep on top of their tasks, while still having time to practice on the basic building skills.  

The apprentice plays a key role in the construction crew.  One that is an entry level position, but crucial in the importance of keeping the crew running efficient, timely, and organized.  The apprentice will leave the program able to manage materials, manage a project site, and have the basic skills to make them an asset on any construction crew. 


Terms of agreement:

Sample of daily and weekly check list:   The Daily Check List will be completed by the general contractor at the end of every work day.  Then it will be reviewed by the Director of the School every week.  The director will fill out the Weekly check list for every participant based on feedback from the staff and teacher.   If the participant receives 3 negative overall reviews in one week, it will count as a failed week.  If there are three failed weeks, then the participant fails the terms of agreement, and will be asked to leave the program.  

Daily Review Checklist 

Date: _______________________ Name:___________________________________

1.  On time to work:    Y      N             Hours worked: ____________________________

2.  On time back from break:  Y   N

3.  Worked with good attitude : Y N

4.  Distracted: Y   N

Why:_____Phone_____Talking with others without working

_____Too much time on phone/ DJ-ing radio_____Other:________________________

5.  Stayed on task, and finished set goal for the day:YN

6.  Task completed: ______________________________________________________________


Overall Review:    _________Positive _________Negative

(Any “No” on #1 – #3 = Negative review, a “Yes” on #4 = Negative review):  Three Overall Negative reviews in one week = Failed Week.  Three failed weeks = expulsion from the program  


Weekly Review Checklist 


Name_____________________________       Week________________________


1.  Is the participant going to at least 2 yoga/med classes per week. Y N

2.  Does the participant have a good attitude and high energy Y N

3.  Is the participant organized and willing to work hard Y N

4.  Has the participant been able to follow the no drugs/alcohol policy Y N

5.  Is the participant communicating if they are not showing up to work Y N

6.  Has the participant gone to all classes. Y N

7.  Did the participant receive 3 or more positive reviews for the week Y N

     (No on #7 is automatic fail for the week)

* Three “No” answers = one failed week.   Three failed weeks = expulsion

_______PASS _______FAIL

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