There are loads of ways to make money online, and one such method is by working with VIPKid.
VIPKid is a teaching platform that connects English teachers from North America with young Chinese English students. The idea of remote learning isn’t new, but the number of teaching platforms has been growing over the last decade.
VipKid is one of many online English teaching sites, and it is somewhat limited in terms of who can expect to be accepted as a teacher. This adds credibility to the platform for its clients, but VipKid might not be the best, first choice if you are a teacher, and don’t take rejection well.
The platform is fairly specific in who it will employ, and it has a reputation for rejecting many applicants. Of course, this is just part of looking for a job in any area, but it is worth thinking about before you pin your hopes for online English teaching work to VipKid.
Who is VipKid?
- 1 Who is VipKid?
- 2 Getting in The Door
- 3 How to Apply
- 4 What Sets VipKid Apart from Other Platforms?
- 5 Getting Onboard With VipKid
- 6 Are There Other Options Out There?
- 7 VipKid is Worth an Application if You Fit its Profile
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 VIPKid Review
- 10 Pros
- 11 Cons
VipKid is a company that connects Americans and Canadians who want to teach English and Chinese kids who want to learn more English at a relatively young age. There is a tremendous amount of research that shows exposure to another language at a young age makes it much easier to learn it over time, and VipKid seems to be cashing in on that advantage.
On the website, ESL teachers who have been approved and trained teach kids in China through video calls. Their students mostly range in age from 4 to 12 years old, and the vast majority are from middle-class families in China. It’s a similar business other online ESL companies such as Qkids, Dada, ABC, and Cambly.
The company was created in 2013 by Cindy Mi and Jessie Chen. It has grown and attracted major investors, including world-famous basketball player Kobe Bryant and other venture capital investors like Learn Capital, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, and many others.
As of the end of 2018, VIPKid had over 600,000 students and over 70,000 teachers in 35 countries.
VipKid appears to be a reliable company and has been featured in some of the largest media platforms in the world. It was ranked highly by Forbes in the company’s ‘Top 100 companies offering remote jobs’.
There is no doubt that VipKid is a solid English teaching site, but it may or may not be the right one to fit your life and teaching style.
Getting in The Door
Of course, to teach with VipKid, you will have to meet some basic requirements. The company is pretty strict about its policies, so if you don’t meet all the requirements, you might not want to try and get in with VipKid.
Anyone who wants to work with VipKid must have at least a Bachelor’s degree which can be in any field. A degree in education won’t hurt your chances of being hired, but you can have any four-year degree as an applicant. You must also speak North American English as your native language, and some teaching or leadership experience is a good thing to have.
VipKid will also want you to commit to a six-month contract, which can be renewed once you successfully complete it. Other than that, you will need to have a desktop or laptop computer, and the company won’t allow you to use a smartphone or tablet computer at first.
After you are hired, you can teach from your iPad, but you can’t complete the interview with one. Your system must run on Windows 7 or above, or MAC OS 10.8x. It must also have an Intel Core i3 or above, at least 4GB RAM, the latest Flash version, and you will need a wired DSL internet connection – at least 20 Mbps.
All of these tech requirements are going to be pretty standard at any online English teaching service, so make sure you have the right gear for the job. Additionally, your computer needs to have a camera, and you need a good headset with a microphone.
If you fit the description outlined above, and you want to teach English online, VipKid could be the perfect platform for you!
How to Apply
As long as you fit the requirements that VipKid has created, the application process is pretty straightforward. It isn’t going to be a super quick way to make money, but once you get set-up, you should be able to do well on a monthly basis.
To become a VipKid teacher, the first step is sending VipKid your resume or filling the application form on their website so they can screen for basic requirements and teaching experience. You should also attach the support documents like a college degree, TESL certificate.
If the company is interested in learning more about you, it will schedule a 30-minute interview with you, so that you can show your English teaching skills to VipKid recruiters. During this process, recruiters will ask you to give a short demo class. This will determine your base pay rate for the lesson.
After you pass thought that step, you will have to practice a full-length teaching class with other VipKid teachers. Assuming that goes well, you will get an email which is composed of your score and comments on your strengths and weakness in each section.
And once you finish sigh up a contract with VipKid, you have to complete the ‘Teacher Training’ as a Teacher Practicum. Teacher Training with VipKid is YouTube videos that give complete information about teaching methods, dos and don’ts, and general materials.
Once you finish, they may give a quiz to make sure you understand all the materials that have been presented to you. After that, you will be able to start booking lessons and making money.
What Sets VipKid Apart from Other Platforms?
Let’s be honest, there are loads of totally legit teaching sites on the internet, and some of them pay more than VipKid (more on pay in a minute). For all the hoop-jumping that VipKid requires from its prospective teachers, what does the company offer in return?
One of the biggest advantages of VipKid is the amount of flexibility that it offers its teachers. You can work with VipKid on a part-time or full-time basis, although it incentivizes teachers to take on a full-time workload.
Many teachers enjoy working for VipKid, according to reports published online. The job could also be a fun part-time job for someone who enjoys working with kids and does not want to wake up early in the morning. Since class schedules are based according to Beijing time, which is a 13-hour time difference from the United States, the working day begins at about 6 pm in North America.
In addition to being able to work in the evening, you have a comfortable work environment like your home and no commuting in rain or snow. You can work from just about anywhere you want, as long as you have a stable and high-speed internet connection.
Flexible and Easy to Deal With
VipKid is a flexible job. You can make your schedule like choosing which hours are right for you perfect as a spare/second/summer job. Especially if you have young children or want to make more money after you finish your day job.
One of the things that really frees up your time with VipKid is the fact there is no lesson planning or Grading. Vipkid has created an education program on the internet for English class that gives 1-on-1 attention, and only focuses on practicing English in a supportive environment.
How About the Pay?
The pay at VipKid is in-line with the rest of the online teaching industry. Experienced teachers might make a little bit more on other platforms, but VipKid is a great option for just about any teacher.
Payment rates at VipKid vary, but one teacher published the following information about her actual experience with the platform:
Base salary is usually around $16-18/hour ($8-9 per 25 minutes lesson) depending on your experience, on top of that comes incentives:
Incentive just for showing up and being ready to teach $1/class
An incentive for finishing 30-44 classes in 1 month $0.50 /class
An incentive for finishing 45 or more classes in 1 month $1/class
From time to time extra incentives for opening up time slots during busy periods (recently we had an incentive program that earned $24 in 1 week!)
Those incentives add up fast and if you teach 45 classes per month with a $9/ class salary, that means:
45x$9 = $405 base salary
45x$1 = $45 just showing up incentive
45x$1 = $45 more than 45 classes incentive
total $495 for teaching only 22.5 hours = $22/ hour!
Getting Onboard With VipKid
As we mentioned above, there is an application process with VipKid, and many potential (and qualified) teachers are rejected. Should you be selected to work with the company, you will be an independent contractor, and in essence, you will have a teaching business with a single client (VipKid).
Thus, the company does not provide any health insurance or other benefits and you are responsible for your taxes. The peak hours may be at inconvenient times, as your job is teaching children is over the world in real-time, your schedule may become complex. The plus side is the lack of a formal working environment and zero commute.
As VipKid is basically a broker, the client demand will dictate the amount of work there is on the platform. Clients will also have de-facto control over the times when work is available, and there is little you can do to create consistent work hours.
You may want to consider having more than one teaching job if you want to stay as busy as possible.
The company asks that you submit a schedule of your availability every month, and once you send it in, they expect you to honor your commitment. If you have a personal emergency, you may be terminated if it lasts for more than a few days.
Are There Other Options Out There?
The online education space is booming. If you are reading this review and realizing that you might not qualify to teach at VipKid, don’t worry. There are loads of reputable English teaching platforms online, and you will probably fit the requirements at one of them!
DaDa is another English teaching platform that specializes in connecting English speakers with Chinese students. Unlike VipKid, DaDa will accept teachers who aren’t from North America, but you will still need a bachelor’s degree to be considered for the program.
Aside from being a native English speaker and holding a bachelor’s degree, DaDa only requires that you set aside time on a monthly basis for teaching. The pay at DaDa starts at $15 USD per hour and rises to $25 USD per hour, which is higher than the highest published pay rate at VipKid.
There aren’t any real downsides to the platform, although some online English teaching sites will pay more than $25 USD an hour to highly skilled teachers. If you are just starting out in the world of online English teaching, or want to have a flexible side gig, DaDa is worth looking into.
Some teachers simply want to work with adults. iTutorGroup will help you to teach adult ESL students from Taiwan, as well as younger Taiwanese students if you want.
In addition to being a native English speaker, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree, and a TESOL certificate to work for iTutorGroup. One thing that can turn potential teachers off is that the starting rate of pay is $6 USD per hour, but that rises to as much as $30 USD per hour for more experienced teachers.
Much like VipKid, you will be working on an Asian timezone, which means that your nights will probably be dedicated to working. You will also be required to take at least 10 peak hours per week, and students will leave feedback about your performance.
PalFish is one of the most flexible English teaching platforms in the world, and it will allow just about any kind of English accent on its site. In addition to being super accommodating about the kind of English that you can speak, it also gives its teachers loads of flexibility when it comes to scheduling.
Pay at PalFish starts at $10 USD per hour, and goes up to $30 USD for top-tier teachers. It allows students of all ages to study on the platform and isn’t limited to students from a single geographic area. You will have to possess a bachelor’s degree, but besides that, no additional accreditation is required.
If you want to take on a part-time teaching job, or are looking to fill some extra time left open by another teaching platform, PalFish is a great way to stay busy. The pay rate on the platform is good by industry standards, and it offers you loads of personal freedom.
VipKid is Worth an Application if You Fit its Profile
VipKid is a great platform for both new and experienced teachers, as long as you fit its requirements. If you are just starting out, and think that a rejection might be hard to take, it may not be the best platform to start with.
The company also has a strict cancellation policy, which may be hard to manage for new teachers who aren’t used to being their own boss.
For more experienced teachers, VipKid is a good place to leverage their skills and education to make money. Some teachers have made it their full-time job, and it is totally possible to earn a decent income with the company.
Some teachers have had problems with communication, as the parents (clients) may leave a comment or review after finishing a lesson, which is difficult to understand. Because a lot of them do not speak English, the comment and review must be translated and it can get confusing.
Additionally, the company itself isn’t necessarily going to be staffed by native English speakers. This means that comments or messages from VipKid might come off as sounding rude, which can be jarring for new teachers who haven’t worked outside of their culture before.
Despite the fact that many online English teaching platforms have created requirements that can be frustrating if you are a native English speaker with a bachelor’s degree, you should be able to find teaching opportunities.
VipKid is a good example of how most online English teaching companies operate, and how the application process works. One thing to consider is the teaching materials, which VipKid includes for its teachers to use.
The fact that VipKid includes all the teaching aids, and doesn’t require any sort of grading makes it a nice platform for teachers who don’t want to have to do extra work when they aren’t spending time with their students.
Overall, VipKid is a good options for North American English speakers who have a bachelor’s degree, if they want to pursue work in online English teaching. It has a good reputation for creating opportunities for both students and teachers, and paying its contractors on time.