VIPKID is a Chinese based company that hires native English speakers to teach English to students in China – entirely online. If you have a stable internet connection and a laptop it can be a pretty great way to make some extra money from the comfort of your home. You don’t need to prepare lessons, meet with parents or commute to work – you simply log on to your computer and you can teach classes from your living room! Most teachers say they earn around $20 per hour, so you can make decent money teaching for VIPKID.
You may be thinking right now this seems like an amazing to be true opportunity, but keep in mind this definitely isn’t available for just anyone. You do need to meet their qualifications, and even then it is pretty difficult to get hired.
NOTE: VIPKID requires a Bachelor’s degree along with experience with children – if you don’t meet those requirements you won’t be considered for a position. If you are still looking for an opportunity to work from home, check out my top recommendation.
How does getting hired through VIPKID work?
Many people find VIPKID teachers to help them through the hiring process as it isn’t easy or simple. You can easily find one if you visit VIPKID’s Facebook page, as any of their posts will have several comments with current teachers willing to help. They are motivated to do this because they are given a referral bonus if someone they help gets hired on.
Once hired, it’s important to note that you are actually an independent contractor. You sign a contract for 6 months which can be renewed at the end. This is a little different than being an employee – you are entirely responsible for your own taxes as they do not withhold them from your paycheck.
The nice thing is you can pick your own hours and work as much or little as you want, so if you are in need of extra money you can do this in addition to your current job, or do it entirely full time if you want.
What is required to be a Vipkid teacher?
- You need a Bachelor’s degree, although it can be in any subject
- You need a stable internet connection, laptop or desktop computer with microphone and web cam
- You need some experience with children, but it does not need to be teaching in a formal classroom setting and you do not need a teaching certificate (for example: daycare provider, camp counselor, babysitting)
- You need to pass their extensive interview process and have the type of personality they are looking for
Fortunately, you don’t need to speak Chinese at all.
How difficult is it to get hired?
It is pretty hard to pass through their interview process. If you do meet their initial requirements, they are definitely looking for a certain type of person and you really have to shine in your demo video.
Taken directly from their website, these are the steps you will go through to become a VIPKID teacher:
The resume is so they can scan for basic requirements, like make sure you have a Bachelor’s degree (I’m also pretty sure this is verified by the company, so you can’t lie) and also some experience with kids.
The process gets harder as you go on – the interview/recorded demo is where you really need to demonstrate your personality and teaching skills. There are several support groups and current VIPKID teachers willing to help you through this, so your best bet is to seek them out on Facebook and not try and do it alone. The success rate for getting hired without help is VERY low. (You can easily find people willing to help you through this process within their Facebook page).
How does the teaching process work?
Since the company has their own web based teaching platform, you don’t need to install any special software on your computer. They prepare all the lessons plans for you but you do need to review the materials and understand how to teach it to individual students based on their needs. All classes are entirely one-on-one – just you and the student. The students are mostly age 5-12.
The student’s parents are the ones that book the classes which whatever teacher they decide on, so you don’t necessarily teach the same students all the time and there’s also no guarantee the parents will book you. Some teachers say they struggle with getting bookings unfortunately.
This is where actually having a teaching degree and experience can be an advantage. Since the parents are the ones selecting the teachers for the students, they might be more inclined to choose someone with more formal experience over someone with a background that’s entirely unrelated.
How much can you get paid?
The pay is a little complicated, but many teachers say they can easily bring in about $20 per hour. Your initial demo video is what determines your base rate pay, and then you get a bonus for showing up and teaching classes on time, and also if you work a certain number of hours. This is broken down on their website – but they state the pay range to be between $14 – $22 per hour.
Complaints about VIPKID
- It is difficult to get hired
- Once you are hired, it can be difficult to get classes booked
- The times you can teach will vary based on your time zone and may not fit with your schedule
- Not necessarily consistent/stable employment as you are on contract
Is it worth it to teach for VIPKID?
I definitely think it can be worth it providing you meet their requirements and especially if you love children. Just remember, you probably need support along the way, so check out their Facebook page to find someone willing to help you through this process.
If you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree or you don’t think this job is really a good fit for you, check out my top recommendation for working from home.
If you have any personal experience with VIPKID feel free to drop any stories or advice down below!