What is VIPKid? An Honest VIPKid Review From a VIPKid Teacher
Are you looking to make some extra money? Then learning about VIPKid is a MUST. Why? Because it is an easy way to earn money from home.
If you have heard people talking about VIPKid and you are now asking yourself, “What is VIPKid?’ You are in the right place for answers because I work for this company.
I, myself, am currently a VIPKid teacher and I can help you decide if this company is right for you and give you some amazing tips to help you get hired and start teaching with VIPKid as soon as possible. You then can start making money working from home.
I have been teaching English online with VIPKid for six months and I have learned how to market myself and make more money. In fact, I am having my best month yet and the greatest part is, I only work 1-2 hours per day to make an extra $500 per month.
I am here to tell you, VIPKid is not a scam. VIPKid is legit and if you are interested in teaching online, this is a great option because you can make your own schedule and help kids in the process. Plus, I love the VIPKid platform. It is easy to use and VIPKid also provides a wide array of free training to help you get started.
More About VIPKid
VIPKid is a China-based company with a headquarter in Beijing and offices in San Francisco, California. This company was started to help Chinese students learn English from native English speakers and are currently the most popular English-based teaching platform in China.
VIPKid opened its doors in 2015 and since has been named one of the best companies to work in 2019 for by Glassdoor. In fact, VIPKid was rated as one of the top three remote places to work by Flexjobs in 2019 (source Forbes). These top ratings ensure you are working for a legit company that I personally love!
When thinking about the foundations of teaching English as a Second Language, studies show the most progress is made by having a live teacher and preferably one that speaks the native language. In fact, many Chinese schools require English.
You may be asking yourself why kids would take online classes when they are offered English in school. The founder of ViPKid, Cindy Mi, realized the best way to teach English or any language is by using short, engaging 25-minute sessions twice per week. Each VIPKid class is 25-minutes long with engaging ready-made slides for you to teach.
Also, you will find many younger pre-school aged students on the VIPKid platform because the younger a child starts learning a second language, the higher the retention rate.
Nonetheless, some students are in need of tutoring to help them with their school English classes. Some parents want to speed up the learning process and want the benefits of one-on-one instruction. This is where VIPKid comes in.
VIPKid is currently the most popular online ESL company in China. This company is also expanding and is offering classes in Korea as well which is great news for you as a teacher because you will have more opportunities and times to teach.
Learn more about this super company from an actual VIPKid teacher! Yes, I’ve been at it for six months and here is my review!
VIPKid Teacher Requirements
There are a few requirements that you must meet before you apply to VIPKid. Check the list below to see if you fit the bill:
- You can live anywhere, but you must legally be able to work in the United States or Canada
- You must have a four -year Bachelor’s degree and uploaded a picture of your document (No, it does not have to be in English or teaching)
- Native neutral English accent
- One year of experience working with children (teaching, tutoring, babysitting, coaching, volunteering)
Do I need a teaching certificate to teach with VIPKid?
In short, no. You do not need a teaching certificate to teach with VIPKid; however, teaching experience will help.
Furthermore, I let my teaching certificate lapse because I plan on staying home with my kids for a few more years and I was still hired.
However, because of requirements from the Chinese government, a TESOL certificate is now required as of 2019, but VIPKid has its own free class you can take so don’t worry about it until you are hired. You have to take a test and pass, but they allow you to take it as many times as you need.
Do you need experience teaching English to apply to VIPKid?
No, you do not need experience teaching English. Yes, it will help if you have experience because you will have more confidence. However, it is not required. If you are nervous about teaching a new subject, I will say it gets easier with experience. I was extremely nervous to teach my first class, but like any job, after you find your flow, it is very easy and fun!
Ready to Apply Now? Click here to get started!
VIPKid Application Process
There are steps you will need to take in order to apply for VIPKid. Luckily, the first step is super easy!
First, click this link and fill in some general information. Hit submit and you will find out if you qualify to move further in the VIPKid application process. (Do it now! I will wait!)
First Interview (Demo)
As long as you qualify, you will then set up an interview.
Great news! There are a few options for this step. You can schedule a live interview or you can record an interview.
Another option would be to attend a live coaching day and fast pass this step altogether but depending on where you live these may or may not be available. Also, you can choose to do a fast Smart Demo on your phone.
I chose to record my moc demo; however, I later found out you can negotiate your pay if you choose to schedule a face to face interview, so it is up to you but keep that in mind.
Recorded Interview with VIPKid or Face-to-Face Interview with VIPKid
The recorded interview is super easy. After providing some information about yourself, you will teach a moc class in which VIPKid gives you slides to teach. This part took the most time for me because I wanted to make sure it was perfect. I watched about twenty videos on YouTube and finally felt I was ready to record my video. I also practiced teaching the slides by recording myself on my computer and reviewing my recording.
After you pass your face to face or recorded interview, you will need to teach a mock lesson. Don’t worry if you do not pass the first time! You can have a few more chances to pass after reviewing the tips provided in your feedback email. I did not feel as much pressure completing my mock class, because at this point you are already hired. Luckily I was able to pass on the first try! Just make sure to bring props, a secondary reward system, check your lighting, and give all five stars!
Even though I passed, I got a comment from my mock-mento about not wearing orange (the company color) for my interview. Yet, I chose not to because it isn’t required anymore; however since they commented on it, I would just go ahead and wear orange for yours. My best advice is to practice, practice, practice!
After passing your mock interview you will be certified to teach the level you chose for the mock class – mine was levels two and three. You can also do another mock class to get a second certification or take a quiz after reading material to get certified later. I chose to only teach levels two and three when I started because I feel they are easier to teach, yet, now I am certified levels one, two, three, and four-plus supplementary classes.
You can add more levels as you go or as they become available. Keep in mind you will get more bookings if you have more certifications.
Will I qualify for VIPKid?
In order to qualify for VIPKid, you will need a four-year bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in anything, but they do require you have some experience working with children.
Yet, this is a loose definition because you can pretty much use any experience such as coaching, babysitting (even family), subbing, volunteering and so on. As long as you meet these qualifications, you should be fine. Nonetheless, recently California changed some of their laws, so if you live in this state, check first before applying.
How Much Does VIPKid Pay?
VIPKid pay varies. It seems, VIPKid used to hire teachers at a higher base-pay, but since they have so many teachers now they do not start teachers as high. Yet, after teaching for a while you will be considered for a raise.
I have thirteen years of teaching experience and a Master’s of Education and was started at $7.70 per 25-minute class. Yet, I get an extra $1 per every finished class, so technically I get $8.70 per class.
So that is $17.40 per every 50 minutes I teach. Pretty good for working in my sweats (They can’t see your legs. – haha).
Yet, if I teach 30 classes per month I get an extra $.050 per class which is $18.40 per 50 minutes (two 25-minute classes). And if I teach over 45 classes I get an extra $1 per class. So $19.40 per 50 minutes is the top I will make (not including bonuses). After a few months, your schedule should start to fill up and teaching 45 classes should be a breeze. That equates to less than two classes per day.
Nonetheless, I can actually earn even more money than $19.40 per hour. If I teach short notice classes which are classes that can be book up to 24 hours before the class actually starts, I will get an extra $2 per class. So I am now up to $23.40 per every 50 minutes I teach. I have found some people get a lot of short notice bookings while others do not. Most of my bookings are regular students, but once in a while, I will open up short notice.
You can also make an extra $5 for teaching and converting trial students. Trial students are students using the free-trail option and taking their first class. If they sign up, you get the $5 bonus.
You can also refer other teachers to the VIPKid platform and make $100 per referral.
It pays to learn the VIPKid lingo! Why? Because you will make more money with the following bonuses:
1. Finished Class
When you finish a class and you arrived on-time you will automatically get an extra dollar. This is easy to do pretty much guarantees and extra dollar added to your base pay.
2. Short Notice
If you open classes and check the “short notice” button, this means you will allow a class to be booked within 24 hours of the class actually starting. This caused me great anxiety at first because I was worried I wouldn’t be prepared if I woke up and had an extra class, but now that I understand the flow of the VIPKid class system, it doesn’t scare me as much.
This is also a great money-making strategy because you will get an extra $2 per class, which equates to an extra $4 per hour if you only taught short notice classes.
The problem is you may not get a lot of short notice bookings in the beginning, but are more likely to get short notice after building a following and/or you are willing to teach at very early hours or all night (depending on the night). Friday evenings are more popular because it is Saturday in China.
Other teachers I know went ahead and taught all night for a few nights to build up a base. This almost always works, if you are willing to stay up all night.
3. Trial Student
If you get a trial-certification, which only took me about two hours to read the material and get certified, you can teach trail classes. This means it is the student’s very first class with VIPKid. If you are able to convert that student to a regular VIPKid student that will take Major Courses, you will receive a bonus of $5 per each conversion. This is a nice chunk of bonus money!
4. Referral Bonus
You can also refer teachers to ViPKid and get a bonus. In fact, if you click the links and sign up in this post, I will get a bonus (I want to be totally transparent!), but if you use my link I will also support you through the process. You are welcome to use my contact form on the blog and email me with any questions!
5. Opening Slots
There are two slots that usually book for me. They are called “Peak Times” and “Peak, Peak times.” If you want to increase your chances of being booked, open all of these time slots. This is usually 7-9 P.M. Bejing time. I am in Eastern Time so that is 7-9 A.M. for me or 6-8 A.M. after day-light-savings time.
6. Teacher NO Show
Unfortunately, with a teacher-no-show, you will actually lose money. If you have to cancel a class two hours before the class, your payment will be docked $10. However, they are very understanding if you have an emergency and can get a doctor’s note. This will reverse your teacher-no-show to a “soft cancelation” and you will not lose money. Yet, if you oversleep, you are out of luck.
What is an Average VIPKid Class Like?
An average VIPKid class starts with a warm-up slide and moves into teaching vocabulary. After teaching the new words your student practices using them in sentences. Depending on the class, some slides are interactive or have songs (usually for the younger students). VIPKid follows the model of “I do,” “we do,” “you do” which is a great scaffolding method of teaching. There is also grammar and math in some of the lessons.
Virtual stars are given throughout the class and it is encouraged to give all five-stars for each class to help motivate your student. You are also asked to use at least two props which can be a puppet and a whiteboard and use a secondary reward system as well. Some teachers use ice-cream or sticker cards, but it is up to you.
Pros of VIPKid
With any job or company, there are going to be some pros and cons. Yet, I feel the good definitely outways the bad with VIPKid. I enjoy working for VIPKid and this is why:
- Work from home in your sweats
- Flexible schedule – set your own
- Great job for stay-at-home mom or dads
- Lessons are done for you
- Free workshops to help train you
- Great platform
- Phone app you can use to prepare for lessons
- You can earn tokens for gift cards and prizes
- Incentive games to help you earn more
Cons of VIPKid
- May not get a lot of bookings at first unless you want to stay up all night
- You may get a teacher-no-show if your Internet doesn’t work well and kicks you off
- Teaching times – Usually early morning or evenings
- You must report your own taxes
Complaints About VIPKid
Many of the complaints I read about in my VIPKid Facebook groups have to do with parents leaving low teacher reviews. Parents are able to rate each class on a scale of one to five stars, five being the best. However, if you get anything lower than a five-star rating, it can affect your bookings because other parents can see your ratings and lower ratings may sway them from choosing you as a teacher.
One way I avoid this by always coming to class prepared. I figure they are paying for these classes and expect professionalism and that is what I give them. Thus far, I have had all five-star reviews!
VIPKid Hiring Cheat sheet
Can I Cancel Classes Once I’m Booked?
In short, yes you can cancel classes. If you are sick or have an emergency go ahead and cancel. After you cancel, you can apply for a soft cancelation which won’t be counted against you. However, you must provide a doctor’s note for a soft cancelation to be approved. Yet, if you cancel or have a Teacher No Show because you oversleep, you lose money and if you have seven of these, you risk being fired or your contract may not be renewed.
What are Soft and Medium Cancelations?
A soft cancelation, as mentioned above, will not hurt your future contract or pay with VIPKid. However, to protect the company from hiring a bunch of teachers that do not show up, there are penalties if you cancel after the two-hour mark before a class or do not show up at all. Unfortunately, you will lose money if you have Teacher No Shows and you will have $10 deducted from your pay. If you cancel within 24-2 hours of the class, you will be deducted $2 and if you cancel before the 24-hour mark, you will not lose any pay; however, you are only allowed six cancellations within a six month period. Once you are hired, you will be able to view all of their policies.
I didn’t worry about these too much because I show up for all of my classes. I only had to cancel once because of a scheduling error on my part, but I did it before the 24-hour mark and did not lose any money.
What are the Best Times to Teach and Will VIPKid Fit My Schedule?
VIPKid PT vs. PPT
These are times you are likely to get booked. You must keep in mind China is in a different time zone and depending on where you live in the United States, you will have to check your peak times.
Peak Peak Times
These are the best times to get bookings for VIPKid. The Peak Peak times are the best times to get bookings because kids are not in school during these hours and are not sleeping!
You can also get booked at other times and some teachers teach all night. It is up to you because you make your own schedule.
Pro Tip: Open classes as soon as you are hired for two weeks out. Most parents book on Sundays which is when time slots open for the second week out. You will be featured when you are first hired and this is a great way to get more bookings and regular students.
I can help you get hired!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I Work for VIPKid and another job?
Yes, this is totally possible. In fact, I am in a number of Facebook groups and often teachers working in a regular school setting also get up early and teach for VIPKid. They also love VIPKid in the summer because they can still earn an income, even when they are not teaching. However, you can also work any job and still work for VIPKid as long as you are available during peak hours. Even if you cannot get up super early, many teach for VIPKid in the evenings as well.
2. How old are the students I will be teaching and do I need to know Chinese to communicate with them?
There is a wide range of students at VIPKid. The youngest student I have ever taught was three years old and the oldest I have now is ten. Yet, students can learn with VIPKid from ages 3-18 years. Your age levels will depend on the certifications you have. If a child is five and under, they will automatically be enrolled in Level 1. You have to get certified to teach level one, so unless you love the littles you don’t have to worry about having super young kiddos! However, I teach this level and love it!
It is not hard to communicate with the students and NO, you do not need to know Chinese. In fact, the company prefers you do not speak in Chinese since this is a full emersion school. VIPKid offers a wide array of free training, but in the beginning, it is best to just follow the slides and avoid using any extra language. You can extend the material on the slides, but don’t talk too much otherwise, because depending on the level of English it can confuse the kids. Yet, you may have some higher-level students that speak English very well and you can ask them about their day, dinner, or the weather.
3. Does it Cost A Lot of Money to Get Started Teaching With VIPKid?
Many think they must spend a lot of money to start teaching with VIPKid, however, I did not find that to be the case. One thing you must have is a background. I hung up two vowel posters I got from the dollar store An alphabet poster works great too.
Also, you need a reliable laptop or Ipad and unfortunately, you cannot teach with a Chrome book. But if you already have a laptop or Ipad, you are all set. If you do not, I suggest checking craigslist, eBay or other online sites for a used one if you do not have a lot of money to buy one.
When teaching you must use a secondary reward system. Some cheap, easy ideas I have used include dollar store stickers on cut up paper, dollar store Holiday themed items such as heart sticks for Valentine’s day or plastic eggs with surprise in them. I also use my kids’ toys, depending on what the kids are into. My 5-9-year-old boys like my kid’s dinosaurs.
In short, VIPKid does not require a large start-up cost. You can spend around $3-5 at the dollar store and you will be ready to go. You can then build your supplies or print props from online as you go.
4. What are the teaching hours with VIPKid?
The teaching hours are based on Beijing time which is a twelve-hour time difference for me in the Eastern time zone, but it will depend on the time zone you are teaching in, but most classes are early morning.
5. Will I have the same students or different students?
In the beginning, you will have a variety of students, but after a while, your students will find you. You will end up with the same students because they enjoy your class and teaching style. You will still get new students from time to time, or lose students if they graduate from your teaching levels. I know many teachers get certified for the next level up because they don’t want to lose their regular students.
6. Does teaching for VIPKid require a lot of preparation in advance?
No, teaching for VIPKid doesn’t require a lot of preparation in advance since the slides are done for you. I have the app on my phone and I go over the slides and jot down a few props I will need. Since I teach three classes in a row, I make piles of supplies and my additional reward for each class. This takes me about ten minutes. In the beginning, it takes longer to prepare for classes, but after a while, it is a breeze!
Final Thoughts… Is VIPKid Legitimate?
In short, VIPKID is a legit company that has renewed my love for teaching. It is an amazing gig and you can teach part-time with VIPKid or fulltime with VIPKid depending on the hours you want or are able to work. I love staying at home with my kids and earning money at the same time! It is a great job and I love the VIPKid family and Facebook groups I have joined.