Babies too young for daycare, mobility issues, and mental health issues.
These are just three of many reasons you may not be able to leave the house to work.
Or, maybe you already have a job that doesn’t make enough.
Whether you want to fully support yourself or you’re looking for a side hustle, working from home with VIPKid can be the right answer.
There’s no gas-guzzling or commuting, and you can earn money and hone some valuable skills.
Read on for my VIPKid review.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for further details.
Here’s the necessary information on VIPKid.
VIPKid is one of many online companies offering work-from-home teaching opportunities.
VIPKid connects more than half a million Chinese students with 100 thousand teachers pretty much around the globe.
Founded in 2013, VIPKid is located in Beijing and San Francisco, but you can work as an online teacher even if you’re not in either city.
The VIPKid curriculum uses a flipped-classroom approach.
This approach means classes are one-on-one, which encourages creativity and critical thinking skills in students.
What Is VIPKid?
VIPKid is a company that provides one-on-one online English classes for children in China between four and twelve.
Who Is It for?
Anyone looking for a work-from-home opportunity to teach English online, provided they meet the following criteria:
- A bachelor’s degree
- One to two years’ experience with children
- Eligible to work in the US and Canada
What Requirements Do You Need?
In terms of education, you need a bachelor’s degree. It won’t matter if you have tons of experience but only a high school diploma.
Chinese parents insist on a bachelor’s degree.
Most English-teaching companies working in China have to ask for that. This is why VIPKid can’t budge on this.
In terms of experience, you need one to two years’ teaching experience.
All the digging I did indicates this can mean any experience with kids, like babysitting or camp counseling.
You must be eligible to work in the US or Canada. Tech-wise, you need two things:
- A reliable wired DSL internet connection
- A 20-Mbps download speed
What Equipment Do You Need?
In addition to your computer, the essential equipment needed to teach with VIPKid is a headset and a webcam.
If you have a backup laptop, keep it in good working condition in case your main one goes out of whack.
A good idea is to record and watch yourself beforehand.
Check to see if you appear well-lit so you can tackle any shadows with a lamp.
See if your voice carries through clearly or if there’s some distortion you need to be fixed.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Work for VIPKid?
This isn’t spelled out on the VIPKid site.
However, I’m willing to bet you have to be 18 at least, given the bachelor’s condition.
What Kind of Work is Available on VIPKid?
Teaching English to Chinese children in one-on-one classes.
You can’t teach anything else, and you can’t teach a group of kids or a child outside China.
How Much Work Is There?
The amount of work depends on your flexibility and whether you don’t mind working nights or very early mornings.
Generally, the more flexible your hours, the more classes you can teach.
The VIPKid Process
There are many steps to the process, but several teachers who work there said the hiring is more challenging than the actual work.
I think this makes sense: VIPKid would want to vet possible candidates, and a rigorous hiring process is a smart way to do that.
The very first step is to sign up at the site with your email address.
Then you fill in an online application.
Keep in mind that you can’t ignore the required info. If you do, you could get instantly locked out of the application process.
Online or Recorded Interview
A time is set for you to go online for a 30-minute interview.
This interview is your chance to show the VIPKid hiring people your teaching chops.
If the times they give you don’t work for you, or if your anxiety gets the better of you, you can record yourself and send it over.
If they like your session, they send you videos and other material so you can learn about VIPKid.
Performing a mock class is where you meet a VIPKid teacher online and practice giving a full-length English class.
You sign a renewable contract for six months, at least, and send them all the paperwork they need. They use it to do a full background check.
They also create your profile for parents of your prospective students.
Now you’ll get a portal at the site. You put your availability there and wait for the bookings to come in.
Once you’re booked, you’ve got your first student.
Classes are generally 25 minutes long. They’re taught at the VIPKid site.
It can take some time to get your regular bookings, so be patient.
Is VIPKid Legit?
After scouring the internet, I can assure you VIPKid is 100% legit.
It’s not a gimmick or a pyramid scheme.
What Time of Day Will You Teach?
The times you teach depends on where you live.
You may have to wake up incredibly early to teach, or you may have to stay up late at night.
The time zone difference makes a big difference here.
VIPKid vs. Others
Ranking in first place on Forbes’ list of work-from-home jobs, VIPKid is the leading company in the ESL industry.
I still wanted to see how it would fare compared to QKids, another well-known online-teaching platform.
Point of Comparison
Where You Can Work From
Worldwide except for California, USA
Only in the US and Canada
Students per Class
Minimum Pay Before Bonuses
$14 to $16 per hour
$16 per hour
Minimum Pay After Bonuses
$18 to $22 per hour
At least $18 per hour
Eligible to work in the US or Canada
Eligible to work and live in the US or Canada
TEFL Certificate Requirement
Must have TEFL certificate
Minimum Upload Speed
Minimum Download Speed
Absence & Cancelation Policy
Here are the main things to know about VIPKid.
They make the lesson plans and tailor them for each student, then give you your lesson plans.
You don’t need to plan ahead.
All you have to do is teach.
This saves time and money and is very helpful for first-time teachers.
Alternatively, veteran teachers have complained that this method was tedious and that it stifled their creativity.
No Minimum Number of Hours
Obviously, the more you work, the more money you make.
Still, it’s great to know that there’s no minimum number of hours you have to fulfill.
Workshops and Resources
VIPKid provides workshops and training material.
The teachers’ community has its own online groups and forums where teachers trade tips and inside information.
Workshops aren’t only for newcomers. They’re a fantastic way to keep your teaching game sharp.
Here’s a quick look at some of the many advantages of working with VIPKid.
Learning About Chinese Culture
You’ll be teaching those kids English, but they won’t be the only ones learning.
You’ll learn a lot about the Chinese and their culture.
VIPKid issues you your own referral code.
Getting new teachers to join the program through that number earns you extra money.
Work from Anywhere in the World
According to their FAQs, you can work from almost anywhere as long as you have a reliable, stable internet connection.
However, VIPKid adds that they’re not hiring any new teachers living in California.
Here are the three major drawbacks that I found online.
They’re not bad enough to make me discourage people from joining, but it’s a good thing to go into a new venture with your eyes open.
Their Programming Issues Might Cost You
Like any online website, VIPKid inevitably gets the occasional glitch.
The problem is that teachers who had nothing to do with that glitch may end up paying the price.
For instance, if another teacher teaches a class that was on your schedule, you not only go without the pay, but you’re also heavily penalized.
When it happens to teachers with an excellent track record and thousands of classes under their belt, it’s a problem.
Harsh Cancelation Penalizing
This one is quite similar to the previous con, but this is about your own issues.
If your laptop goes on the fritz, if you lose your internet connection for reasons beyond your control, if you’re suddenly ill, you may end up with a hefty penalty for any canceled work.
Also, regardless of how spotless your track record is, one cancelation means you can kiss any future raises goodbye.
Unfortunately, VIPKid makes this info available to parents. This will naturally hurt your bookings.
All that said, I’m a little torn on this because I’ve seen VIPKid teachers say they weren’t penalized.
They contacted VIPKid 24 hours in advance and provided proof of their issues, such as a doctor’s text or prescription or a complaint to their ADSL provider.
I think company culture is the magic word. They have to protect themselves against those who may abuse the system.
As long as you’re polite and not abusing the system, you should be fine.
Getting Work Can Take a Long Time
I’ve seen this brought up a lot in VIPKid and work-from-home spaces online.
Their theory is that VIPKid is hiring far too many teachers at once.
Many have said you need to wait around two months before you have consistent bookings.
I’m not sure if this is 100% bad: No matter how many teachers they hire, your survival depends on your performance.
In other words, only good efficient teachers will stay.
You might end up waiting a long time, but once you’re in, you’ll be evaluated fairly.
Parents Can Have Too Much Power
I’ve seen many teachers complain about this.
Some have said that Chinese parents tend to spoil their children and resent your attempts at disciplining them in class.
China Hours Can Mean Insane Hours for You
China is over 10 hours ahead of most time zones in the US.
So if a student books you or schedules a morning class their time, you might find yourself having to stay up all night to teach.
You might also need to get started before dawn.
How Much Can You Make on VIPKid?
According to the teachers that I found online, the minimum pay starts from $8 per class.
However, the VIPKid site says you make $15 to $22 per hour.
How much you make is about much more than the hourly rate, however.
Earning potential really depends on your flexibility, your willingness to work crazy hours, and your goals.
Some people are happy teaching at VIPKid as a side hustle. For others, this is their only job.
For instance, classes booked within 24 hrs earn an extra $2.
Making yourself available to snap up those classes means more money.
Also, if you’re an expat living somewhere cheaper than the US, the hourly rate will let you live comfortably. If you live in the US, you’ll need to make more to live in equal comfort.
These are the most noteworthy things I’ve found about this gig.
You can pick the classes you want according to your schedule and health issues.
While that’s a golden bonus in its own right, this isn’t just for people who don’t want your average nine-to-five job.
If you’re housebound or struggling with agoraphobia, anxiety, or any other mental health issues, VIPKid is a rare opportunity to earn your own money and sharpen many different skills, all in the comfort of your own home.
You can also work pretty much anywhere in the world.
You don’t even have to be in one place.
It goes without saying, but I have to point this out as a significant bonus.
You can stay home, stay safe, and still make money.
I’d even go as far as to say this alone makes the experience worth it.
VIPKid has renewed its partnership with TESOL. You can get a TESOL certification for free through VIPKid.
Having this certification looks fantastic on your resume and opens up more ESL work-from-home opportunities for you.
Legitimate Work From Home Jobs
Amazon Work From Home Jobs
Under the Table Jobs
All you need is a reliable internet connection and a decent laptop, headset, and webcam; then, you’re ready to try VIPKid.
Keep in mind that if you want to start making money tomorrow, VIPkid isn’t for you.
On the other hand, if you can be patient and you want flexibility and a chance to learn about a new culture, VIPKid is a great opportunity.
It can be a side hustle or your primary source of income in the long run.
Regardless, it means you can earn money and develop your skills despite your situation, mobility issues, or mental health issues. Now raise your hand if you’re ready to make that happen!