To the original poster:
If you are considering breeding in the future, the first step is a responsible, reputable, experienced breeder whose goals, ambitions, and ethics are similar to yours. Yes, you have much to learn, and you will continue to learn, but there are some things you can start considering and establishing now.
First, why do you want to breed rats, what are your goals? Just to produce cute, fuzzy pets? To produce show winners? To improve the health and temperament of our beloved pets?
What are your ethics, as a breeder? How do you feel about culling (as in, killing off the "undesired" babies)? How will you place your babies? What if a rat, young or old, is sick or injured and can't be treated or cured? How do you view euthanasia of a sick/injured rat compared to culling?
What are you looking for in a breeder? Are there particular varieties you prefer, or do you care?
Start looking for breeders, and contact all of them. Everything you read should be taken with a grain of salt. Talk to the breeders first, but be cautious. Ask them what their goals are, how they choose their breeders, how they select their keepers from each litter, what they look for when deciding on a pair, how they keep track of their babies, how they track and record their lines, what kind of records they keep, how far back their records go, how long they keep those records, who they work with, and so on. If you see "red flags", ASK the breeder. If you see that a breeder bred a rat at two months of age, ask them WHY. Maybe that breeder was new and didn't know any better, but now they've learned. Maybe that breeder just doesn't care and thinks it's perfectly acceptable to breed a rat at two months of age. Maybe that particular litter was an accident (and though accidents should not happen, sometimes they do, find out how many accidents, how often, and what the circumstances were; was the breeder just careless, or was the breeder in the hospital and the rats' caretaker slipped up?). If a breeder has "weird" names for colors, ASK the breeder about those colors. Not every possible color is standardized. Russian blue Burmese is not standardized, but it IS a color. Wheaten Burmese is not yet standardized, but it IS a color. Not ever color is standardized in every club. "Blue beige" is a standardized color in AFRMA, but not in other clubs. "Havanna" is a standardized color in other clubs, but not in AFRMA. If you see a color you are not familiar with, ask the breeder what it is, where it came from, the suspected genetics, and then go out and do research to find out whether or not that color actually is standardized and is just being given a "cutesy" name.
When looking for a mentor, be careful. Look for someone you agree with, but also someone who knows what they are doing. If the breeder says they do "this" find out why. If a breeder waits until six months to breed their rats, find out WHY. If the breeder bred a litter, and then didn't keep any babies, find out WHY. If a breeder's rats "disappear", find out WHERE those rats are going. Some breeders pet-place their retired breeders. Other breeders cull them. Some breeders raise ALL of the babies born, other breeders cull half the litter. Some breeders keep records on every stinking little thing that happens to their rats. Other breeders couldn't care less. Find out which breeders are which. Talk to multiple breeders, don't just talk to one and follow that person like they are the know all, be all. Once you have gotten to know different breeders, make your judgment and then pick your mentor, or even your mentors.
And any breeder worth their salt should be willing to at least talk to you. Many breeders out there won't do that. That doesn't mean the breeder has to tell you everything and anything there is to know about breeding, but they should at least be willing to talk to you, and explain to WHY. Even as someone who is just looking for a pet, the breeder should be able to tell you WHY they paired such and such rats.
It's a tricky road to walk. There is so much back-stabbing, so much gossip, so many rumors. So many people come into breeding, just to drop out in a couple years. With so many people coming and going, it's hard to know who is who, even harder to find one who is worth working with.