Scribes were an extremely important part of society - they didn't have to pay taxes, join the military or take part in any form of manual labour.
It took up to 10 years to learn and cost a lot of money, hence it was usually middle class children that undertook the training but quite often the job was hereditary.
The Egyptian word for scribe is 'sesh' which actually means 'to draw'. The highest level would be within Pharoah's court and the most well-known village of scribes and skilled craftsmen is at Deir-el-Medina in Thebes. They were fed by the people and treated very well - houses were often provided. Scribes were also one of the earliest 'jobs' and many positions within the administrative sector of Ancient Egypt required their specialised training. Very few of the population could read or write and the hieroglyphic language is extremely complex with over 700 unique signs that could be combined to give different meanings.
Most students would begin at age 5 with formal training at 9. Not only hieroglyphs were studied: hieratic, demotic and maths were also on the curriculum - many jobs included doing work for the architects, tax collectors and treasurers. Students spent a lot of time practising by copying onto papyrus, pottery pieces or even flakes of limestone. Hours were long and discipline harsh, beatings were common.
Everything that we know about Egypt comes from these people, stocks of food, legal documents, magic spells (i.e. The Book of the Dead), court proceedings, proclamations - everything was recorded.