A lot of people are turning to online jobs these days, and many have also been asking about VIPkid and whether working for this company is a real deal or not. So, today, I put together this comprehensive VIPkid review to answer the questions you may have about VIPkid and working as an online ESL teacher in general. If you are looking for unbiased VIPkid reviews, then you are in the right place!
I spent hours for research and to write this post to give you an honest and detailed VIPkid review. By the end of this post, you will learn:
- What is VIPkid
- How to apply at VIPkid
- VIPkid requirements
- Pros and cons of ESL teaching with VIPkid
- VIPkid no-show policy
- VIPkid reviews
I’ve included honest reviews from real VIPkid teachers, so you will have an insight into their teaching experience at VIPkid.
Let’s dive into it!
What is VIPKid?
VIPKid is one of the leading online teaching platforms right now. According to its website, it holds over 5,000,000 classes in a single month, has over 700,000 students, and more than 100,000 online English teachers.
VIPKid is an online teaching platform that connects Chinese kids looking to learn English, to native English speaking teachers. Classes are held one-on-one, 25 minutes at a time. Teachers at VIPKid handle Chinese kids between 4-12 years old.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to cash in on your teaching passion and adoration for kids, VIPKid seems to be an excellent platform. But I encourage you to read the rest of this VIPKid review to find out more about this opportunity.
VIPKid Background: How VIPKid Started
VIPKid has a humble beginning, starting with a woman named Cindy Mi, who is also VIPKid’s CEO and founder. You see, Cindy experienced a learning gap first-hand.
According to this article on Business Insider, Cindy moved to Harbin City when she was 14 years old. She was behind her classmates and she struggled to catch up with her math class. Since there were over 60 students in that class, her math teacher didn’t have the energy to explain the concepts to her.
Cindy lost her interest in Math and ended up not caring for that class at all. Her teacher had kicked her out of class because she didn’t understand the lessons. Looking back, Cindy realized that a teacher would struggle to give personalized learning to students if there were too many students in the class.
In 2000, Cindy dropped out of school and went to establish a school with her uncle called ABCEnglish. At a young age of 17, Cindy vowed to give quality English tutorials to Chinese kids. With Cindy’s determination and hard work, the school grew massively, all the while tending to her own studies.
Wanting a bigger challenge, Cindy founded VIPKid in 2013. Cindy saw the potential for English as Second Language in China because she knew Chinese parents were willing to spend money so that their kids could learn English.
According to Cindy, there were a lot of students looking to learn English online, but there was not enough supply of teachers who were native speakers. But since brick-and-mortar schools were expensive, Cindy thought of bringing learning completely online. And that is how VIPKid, as we know it, came to be.
This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at NO extra cost to you for any purchases made through these links.
How to Apply to VIPKid?
VIPKid has gone a long way from where it started in 2013. Today, VIPKid continues to conduct classes, especially now that online learning is fast becoming the new normal. Becoming a teacher for VIPKid can be an excellent way to earn an income from home.
So, if you’re interested to land a teaching job, here are the VIPKid requirements that you need to satisfy.
VIPKid only accepts applications from those who have a bachelor’s degree from a university. It doesn’t matter what field of study, as long as you’ve completed the degree. They also prefer those who have at least two years of teaching or tutoring experience. Finally, you must be eligible to work in Canada or the US. However, VIPKid currently does not accept applicants from California.
Since teaching happens online, it is essential that VIPKid teachers are technologically-equipped to provide optimized learning to students.
You need a computer or laptop running on Windows 7,8 or 10, or MAC OS 10 or higher. You also need a fast and reliable internet connection of at least 25 Mbps. Additionally, you need these peripherals for a better learning experience: HD webcam, noise-canceling headset with microphone, great lighting such as full-size selfie rings, and fun and educational backdrop.
If you think like you’re a great fit for a teaching position at VIPKid, and you have all the technical requirements up and running, you could already start the application process.
Head over to VIPkid here and create a profile. You will fill up an online application form where you’ll submit your personal and professional details
You will then be invited for a VIPKid mock interview and showcase your teaching skills to a recruiter for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could do a thirty-minute recorded teaching demo. This will allow the recruiter to evaluate your skills and personality, and see whether you’re a fit for the job.
Train to teach
At this point, VIPKid will supply you with materials to help you get acquainted with their teaching system, standards, and curriculum. Study these resources very well as they will prepare you for the next step of the application.
This is probably the most daunting part of the application process: the mock class. During this stage, you will need to do a demo class before another VIPKid teacher to assess your readiness to teach.
You will conduct this class for 25 minutes, so make sure to study your lessons, prepare your props, and of course, get into the teaching mindset. The good thing is that you can practice the mock class beforehand and time it to make sure you are able to teach properly within this period.
Sign contract and complete background checks
If you’ve nailed your VIPKid mock class, congratulations, you’re only one step away from becoming a full-fledged VIPKid teacher. You need to sign your contract, submit the required documentation, and go through background checks.
Teach your first class
After everything is put in order, you can now officially start booking your first class. Set your class schedule on the VIPKid portal so that parents can start booking you.
How Does VIPKid Work?
Every class at VIPKid begins and ends with its proprietary portal. Here’s what you need to know to maximize all the features in that portal and keep yourself busy with continued bookings.
If you’re new to VIPKid, you want to set your teacher profile so that parents can see you and book you if they like you. You can write a few things about yourself and post some photos. You can also add a short 15-second greeting video to introduce yourself.
Once you’re inside the VIPKid portal, you will see everything you need for your class. You can find your upcoming classes, who your students are and what materials you will need for each class. You’ll also see if you have a VIPKid potentially returning student or an entirely new enrollee.
Most teachers would go over the feedback that previous teachers left about the student. This would give you a better idea of how the student fares with his lessons, and determine the best ways to approach the class.
Before you begin your class, it is recommended to go over the study material just to see what you need to teach, and maybe prepare your props if needed. You can click “start class” 10 minutes before the schedule so you can check if your microphone and webcam are up and running. Once you’re class ended, you want to leave feedback about your class and student’s performance. In the same way, parents can also leave feedback on their kid’s teachers.
Another important thing to consider when you’re teaching at VIPKid is how classes are scheduled. You can teach anytime you want, as much as or as little as you desire. However, you want to keep in mind that you’ll be teaching kids in China, so take note of the timezone differences.
For instance, if you live in Eastern Standard Timezone or EST, peak hours are early in the morning on weekdays, and at night during the weekends. This means you might have to wake up earlier than 5 AM from Monday to Friday and finish the class by 9 AM. On Saturdays and Sundays, peak hours start at 8 PM.
The good thing about scheduling your classes with VIPKid is that you can close or open slots as you like. But because students choose their teachers, and not vice-versa, you want to be available during peak hours to earn more money.
You can open your class schedule one month in advance and can modify it as you see fit.
What if I have to cancel a class?
You’re a teacher and you’re also human. Sometimes you get sick or have to attend a family emergency and you may be forced to cancel a class.
Yes, you can cancel a class, but not without consequences. VIPKid has some policies about cancelation and no-shows. For instance, if you stood up a student and did not cancel the class, it’s called a teacher no-show. Or, if you canceled a class 2 hours prior to the schedule, it is still considered a no-show. For these, VIPKid will deduct $10 from your paycheck for each no-show.
As for cancelations, VIPKid allows you to cancel a class if you, your child, or spouse have fallen sick and require urgent medical attention. You must submit the medical bill and doctor’s note as proof.
VIPKid also allows cancelation if you were hit with natural disasters and power outages. You will have to submit an official power or weather report as proof.
Other instances when cancelations are accepted is when you give birth (or your spouse) or when there’s the death of immediate family members. As mentioned above, you also need to provide the required documentation to accept your cancelation.
If your reasons for cancelation are valid, then VIPKid will not penalize you for them and you could still keep your job. However, if they were deemed invalid, you can only cancel for up to six times within your six-month contract. Otherwise, VIPKid will have to let you go.
It is very important to keep a consistent class schedule not only to earn more, but also to maintain good standing with VIPKid. The VIPKid no-show policy is something every teacher should take seriously.
How much does VIPKid pay?
According to the VIPKid website, each 25-minute class pays a base rate of $7-$9. If you compute it as an hourly rate, your VIPKid salary around $14-$18 per hour. Remember that VIPKid teachers do not receive the same base rate. Most of what goes into the computation include your teaching experience and credentials as well as your performance during the mock class.
How to get bonuses and incentives
You could very well earn beyond your base rate by taking advantage of bonuses and incentives. And there is more than one way to achieve this.
According to this post on ESL Authority, here is how you can maximize your earnings at VIPKid:
- If you show up on time for all of your classes, you get an additional $1 for each class. It only proves that it pays to be prompt.
- If you teach more than 45 classes each month, you get another $1 bonus for each class.
- You can also make yourself available for short notice class and earn $2 more for each class.
- VIPKid also pays you $5 for each trial student who signs up for your class afterward.
Therefore, if you’re a high-performing teacher who consistently keeps her schedule, you can really earn lucratively at VIPKid. I’ve even heard of people quitting their day jobs and opting to teach full-time at VIPKid.
Payment method and schedule
VIPKid can pay you directly to your bank account or PayPal. You may opt to receive payments each week, bi-weekly, or monthly (it’s up to you!). You’ll also see all your earnings at the VIPKid teach app.
Important note: You are working as an independent contractor at VIPKid, so the company will not withhold your taxes from your income. You are responsible for filing your own taxes.
Is VIPKid Legit?
“Is VIPKid legit? Or is this another online scam?” I knew you would ask, so I took the liberty to lay it all right here.
I could genuinely say that VIPKid is legit. It’s been around since 2013, and it continues to expand. It has attracted some of the biggest investors, including Kobe Bryant, as stated in this article on the Wall Street Journal.
VIPKid has conducted more than five millions of classes, hired thousands of teachers, and taught over half a million Chinese kids (and it continues to do so!). It has done an impressive job of learning English focused and fun for the kids. Plus, VIPKid online jobs are giving teachers and teacher aspirants a platform to make money online and at home.
VIPkid Review: Pros and Cons
- Customizable schedule – VIPKid allows you to set your class schedule from a month to a few weeks in advance. You can when to work, and when not to. You can open as many slots as you can handle to earn more.
- More ways to earn – apart from your base pay, you could earn a couple more dollars if you show up on time and provide a fun learning experience to kids. You could also earn by filling in for other others and booking more classes each month. You can significantly increase your earnings to $22 an hour, which is competitive for a work-from-home opportunity.
- Ready-made curriculum – as a teacher, your primary duty is to show up and teach. You don’t have to draft lesson plans overnight, which could be time-consuming. VIPKid designed a system where you can pick up from the kid’s last lessons. Every learning material you need is all provided by VIPKid.
- Location-independent – as long as you are eligible to work in the US and Canada, you can pack your bags, bring your laptop, and still teach classes anywhere in the world. This is a remote teaching job that you can in any part of the world as long as you have a fast and reliable internet connection.
- Canceling classes can cost you – VIPKid emphasizes its cancelation policy wherein if you cancel without valid reasons and supporting proof for more than six times during your contract can cost you your job. If you need to cancel, do it at least 2 weeks beforehand. Also, last-minute cancelations and no-shows can mean further deductions to your paycheck.
- No benefits – since you were employed as an independent contractor and not as an employee, you will not enjoy the same benefits that regular employees have, including health packages, retirement plans, and paid vacations.
- Income is not always guaranteed – although VIPKid promises good earning potential, it does not guarantee that your earnings will always be the same. There will be some slow days, you could get sick or have power outages. These instances do not guarantee an income.
VIPKid Reviews From Real-life Teachers
Teacher Allison on Northern Nevada Moms
Teacher Allison shared with Northern Nevada Moms about her experience working at VIPKid. As a stay-at-home mom, Allison wanted to earn some “fun income.” as she was not looking for full-time work, she wanted a gig that’s flexible and fits her lifestyle as a busy mom to young kids. After hearing about VIPKid from a number of friends, Allison decided to give VIPKid a shot.
Although she admits there was a bit of learning curve at the start, Allison was happy to dive into this opportunity. She started opening more slots after getting some coaching from fellow teachers. She also loves being a few steps away from her classroom.
“I can roll out of bed 14 minutes before my first class, through on a sweatshirt (no bra), and throw my hair in a ponytail. I have zero commute time and I get to wear my slippers to work!” says Allison.
Teacher Amy Marie of Amymarieblog
Amy was looking for a second job at the end of 2017 to help her pay off her college debts, as well as finance her dream house and wedding. Although she was a bit skeptical of VIPKid at first, she found a lot more women who have genuinely become VIPKid teachers.
“I want you to know that you will get over the first couple of class jitters and before you know it you will be a teaching pro!” Amy wrote.
Teacher Amy’s first few classes were nerve-wracking. Each kid had a different English speaking level. But as she looked at the feedback that parents left her, Amy decided to press on. Amy did an eight-month update on her blog and said that she loved working at VIPKid. Sure there were slow days, some kids were difficult, but she enjoyed her job. She had the opportunity to learn about a different culture.
VIPkid Reviews: Is VIPKid worth it?
VIPKid has been around for the last couple of years, and it has grown so much and so fast as a company. What makes it appealing is that VIPKid maintains a standard to ensure that they only hire eligible teachers and education is of top quality. And now that more and more people are engaging in remote learning, I think the demand for VIPKid teachers is only going to increase in the near future.
I believe VIPKid is worth exploring as a work-from-home opportunity. You can teach anywhere and anytime, even when you’re in your pajamas. If you have an awesome and cheerful personality, have some teaching background, and a graduate of any degree, VIPKid is certainly worth pursuing.
Have you tried working at VIPKid? Share your experiences in the comments.