Journeyman Certification                     $5,200                                         Available May-October

Estimated Time:  One 6 months Building Season, From May to October 

Scholarships: If the participant qualifies for a scholarship then they will only need to pay $1200 for the six month session.  The remainder of the tuition will come from scholarships paid by clients who hire the Natural Living School to build them natural structures.  Because this is a large investment to the homeowner, the participant will need to be approved by the school, and the people hiring the school to construct the dwelling.  The participants will need to fill out a scholarship application and provide a letter to the sponsor explaining why they are worth the scholarship.  This program is highly competitive, and the Natural Living School can only accept participants into the Journeyman program if there are people willing to pay for the participant’s scholarship.  If there is no scholarships available, the applicant has the choice to pay for the tuition in full prior to the start of the program, or try to raise the funds other ways, such as crowd funding.  The participant will need to raise the funds prior to the start of their program.

Prerequisites:  Participants applying for the Journeyman Certification must have completed the Natural Living School’s Apprenticeship Program and passed the written and oral tests, which will cover the construction of a natural building from beginning to end.  They must demonstrate the ability to handle all tools used during their apprenticeship, and be able to understand safety issues.  References and a comprehensive written and oral test will be required if the participant completed a similar apprenticeship in natural building somewhere else.  The applicant will need to know and have experience in all the skill sets mentioned in our apprenticeship program.  If they have not completed these skill sets, or fail the comprehensive tests, they will be required to complete our apprenticeship program.  This may be done in a shorter time frame, depending on the applicant, and their skill level.  The minimum will be 3 months.  

Other Prerequisites: 18 years of age, in good health, with health insurance. Have extra spending money that can last for the duration of the program.  Be able to pass a drug test.  Be willing to refrain from drug use and drinking alcohol while in the program, including after work and on weekends.


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 people and situations, 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 disposition mentioned above.  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 would keep you from doing hard manual labor.  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 the $1,200 for the program plus 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.



The Journeyman in training will mentor and show the upcoming apprentices all the responsibilities the apprentices are in charge of, as well as cover for them when they are not there or on another job. Once the apprentices are well trained the Journeyman in training will have more time developing their basic building skill sets.  They will be an assistant to one or more members of the building crew, learning additional building trades.  

As a Journeyman in training, the participant will work directly under a Foreman and the General Contractor,  developing all the skills needed to build a home from beginning to end.  As a Journeyman in training the participants will need to be involved in multiple fields of construction.  They will work with the foundation builders, the carpenters, the plumber, the electrician, the plaster crew, the roofers, and with the Master Natural Builder.  At the end of the Journeyman Certification process, the participant will be expected to take a written test, and oral exam, and demonstrate a basic understanding of every step to complete the construction of a dwelling.  After receiving the certification as a Journeyman, the graduate should expect to receive a pay rate between $15 to $20 an hour, depending on how self sufficient they are.  


Participants in this program will receive hands on experience in:

* Rubble trench foundation

* Concrete and natural stem wall foundations

* Cob making and cob bond beam forming

* Plaster making and leveling walls

* Bale-Cob walls systems

* Material management 

* Site management

* Basics in tool use and maintenance 

* Permaculture principles, includes the PDC certification

* Round wood timber framing

* Basic understanding of 3D and 2D drawings

* Natural building design principles

* Falling trees and forest management

* Roof design and construction

* Finish natural plastering and earthen floors

* Basic plumbing and electrical.  Including grey water and solar power. 



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

_____To much time 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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