Herbal Apprenticeships

Herbal Medicine Apprenticeship Program with Virginia Ahearn

I am excited to offer a 6 month apprenticeship, and as of January 2015, I am looking for a new apprentice. My apprenticeship offers a foundation in basic knowledge of herbal medicine.

An apprenticeship is a ‘hands-on’ way of learning, and historically, this is how herbalists, and other health care practitioners, learned their profession. An apprentice works alongside the teacher, observing consultations, participating in classes, and is given projects to work on that are related to the practice and the business in exchange for learning.

The Cost and Commitment
The apprentice will work approximately 3-6 hours a week, and receive approximately 6-8 hours a month of instruction in herbal medicine. These hours are a combination of personal instruction, and instruction received in group classes. The apprentice will be able to attend all of Virginia’s classes for free, and will do some work at the classes.

Virginia asks for a $100 deposit for a 6 month commitment. The deposit is returned at the end of the apprenticeship. If the apprentice opts out of the program before 3 months, none of the deposit is refundable. If the apprentice opts out after 3 months, $50 is refundable. This does not apply for true emergencies or drastic life changes. This deposit is flexible if a good candidate is in financial need.

There is an agreement form that both Virginia and apprentice sign, which outlines much of what is written here.

The Curriculum
Virginia will teach the following topics: basic principles in herbal and alternative healing, introduction to western herbal medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, in depth study of healing properties of approximately 25 herbs, preparation and dosages, relevant history of herbal medicine, definitions/terminology, introduction to formula making, some plant ID and harvesting, some medicine making such as salves, tinctures and vinegars.

What kind of work would I do as an apprentice?

  • Phone calls, mailings and outreach via internet to explore new places to teach,
  • Updating the mailing list/database, following up with class attendees
  • Monitoring some email,
  • Inventorying herbs,
  • Placing herb orders,
  • Preparing for, and helping at classes Virginia will be teaching
  • Making tea samples
  • Prepping class hand outs
  • Circulating mailing list
  • Staffing products table
  • Helping with set up and clean up
  • Observing private consultations
  • Attending herbal study groups of which Virginia is a member
  • Preparing individual herbal teas and formulas
  • Errands (some are walking distance)

What is the schedule like?
As much as is possible the work exchange will be on a consistent day. The schedule for this, and for individual instruction will be planned out at least 2 weeks in advance, longer when possible. Virginia’s schedule can change quickly when new clients come on board, some changes will likely occur over the 6 months.

Most work will happen at Virginia’s home in New Brunswick, NJ. Some work can be done elsewhere, or at the apprentice’s home. Computer is required.