Wicca is set up with degree systems. These degrees show rank and experience in the world of Wicca. It doesn't always mean one person is more knowledgeable than another. It does mean they completed a form of training and certain requirements to earn the title. These are most often found in coven settings versus solitary settings. The three degree system is by far the most popular degree system in use by covens.
Three Degree System
In this system there is a total of three degrees. A student of Wicca is not considered to have attained a degree and is known as a dedicant. After the training, which traditionally lasts a year and a day, the student may be initiated into the coven and will be considered a first degree. In some traditions, a person can not call themselves a Wiccan until they have completed training and initiation into the first degree.
Second degrees have gone another round of training learning more complex concepts about deity, performing rituals and more of the Wiccan mysteries. One must be a first degree for about a year before being allowed to become a second degree within a coven. With the second degree the Wiccan has the ability to be considered a Priest or Priestess.
The third degree is more for those wanting to become coven leaders and Wiccan clergy. It involves learning about dealing with groups of people, performing formal rituals, understanding the local laws for clergy and communication with deity. To attain a third degree, involves dedication and time as there is a lot to be learned. Third degree Wiccans are the High Priests and Priestesses of the Wiccan community. They are the ones who answer questions and deal with phone calls at 2:00am involving a member's life crisis.
Five Degree System
The five degree system is based on the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. Each rank corresponds with an element and training deals with aspects related to that element.
The Air degree deals with knowledge and that of the intellect. It is the degree where one learns the ways of Wicca and expands their minds to its secrets. This degree also deals with our communication skills and how to expand them.
The Water degree involves the emotional sides of ourselves and our shadow selves. It is the degree where one learns to look inside themselves and work toward emotional growth.
The Fire degree involves learning more about the ways of energy and psychic abilities. One must learn about the energy body and ways to shield themselves from psychic attack.
The Earth degree involves taking a look at the the Earth's ecology and getting a clear picture of how nature is part of spirituality. It also involves adding in things that help us with our physical needs like proper education for our career choice and basic first aid knowledge.
The Spirit degree involves learning to connect with deity and with our higher selves. It is all about our direct connection to the God and Goddess.