Thousands of New Yorkers vying for a plumbers union apprenticeship lined the streets of Queens Monday morning.
Some people said they waited days for a shot at one of the coveted spots.
The program includes 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, in addition to classroom time. After five years, apprentices also receive an associate's degree.
Both established plumbers and eager candidates say the opportunity is well worth the wait.
"The young men and women that are on this line today recognize that it's an opportunity to enter the middle class," said John Murphy of Plumbers Local Union 1. "It's an opportunity to get involved in one of the top apprenticeship programs in the country."
"I think it's a good opportunity," said one hopeful. "Where else can you go and make close to $50 an hour at the end of it. You work five years, you make $50 dollars an hour. I don't know anybody who would turn that down."
"Waited on line for 72 hours since Friday," said another. "[It's been] crazy."
Only 140 to 160 people are expected to be accepted into the program.