Participate/Training Program

Apprenticeship Program (Ages 18 to ∞)

Program Description

This course will introduce you to hands-on practical skills to create “Gold Standard” compost for a variety of urban environments (e.g. multi-unit apartment buildings, community gardens, urban agriculture enterprises). You will apply highly effective composting procedures for small and mid-size operations (> 1 cubic yards, < 5 tons) and be exposed to different composting devices and systems. You will determine which systems are suitable for specific urban situations and safely use the correct tools to accomplish this.


We are accepting applications for our Seasonal apprenticeship which will run from May 8 – October 30, 2017.

The apprenticeship meets two days a week:

  • Monday – Educational day (commitment required) – 9-3 pm
  • The second day (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) is a hands-on, train-the-trainer learning experience. We request that apprentices be present for at least one weekend day per month. The exact schedule will be agreed upon by staff and each apprentice. 

Please note that there are a limited amount of placements available.

Please send all completed applications to

You will be contacted by Earth Matter with more details on the application process.

Program Objectives

  • Build thermophilic food scrap windrows using controlled moisture and aerated static pile methods
  • Maximize productivity of a variety of mesophilic and thermophilic compost devices
  • Collect and analyze compost data sheets and lab reports
  • Learn time management
  • Safely use construction tools to build compost-related devices, tools, and projects
  • Create balanced compost recipes
  • Make soil amendment blends, prepare garden beds using the correct blends, and plant crops for comparative studies
  • Make compost teas and apply them to plants
  • Construct animal systems and incorporate animal manure into the composting process
  • Care for animals (e.g. chickens, goats, red wiggler worms, bees)

Program Benefits

  • “Art and Science” of Composting Apprenticeship Certificate (140 hours)
  • Gain green job skills and increase earning potential in environmental job arena
  • Create connections within the NYC greening and composting community
  • Advance your environmental knowledge

Target Audience

Certified Master Composters and community composters (ages 18+) interested in scaling up their community composting operations, acquiring green job skills, and spreading knowledge of composting best practices in New York City and beyond.

Time Commitment

2 days per week for a total of 140 hours

Our Apprentices

Follow our Flickr page to see all of our apprentice activity!