This post is my honest VIPKID review updated for 2021. A lot of people ask me, “Is VIPKID legit?” After working with the company for about 3 years, I’m happy to say that I’ve had a positive experience. In this post, I’ll share my VIPKID teacher review to help you decide if it’s the right teaching English online job for you.
What is VIPKID?
VIPKID is a company where you teach kids English online. Most of your students are based in China. All lesson plans and materials are provided for you. Classes are 1-on-1 and students are age 4-12 of all ability levels. Classes are 25 minutes long and you can make your own schedule with no weekly maximum or minimums.
What are the requirements to become a VIPKID teacher?
To become an online ESL teacher, the VIPKID requirements are:
- native English speaker
- Eligible to work in USA or Canada
- Bachelors degree or higher
- 2+ Year experience teaching, tutoring, mentoring, coaching, working with students
- Unfortunately, due to new state legislation, VIPKID is no longer hiring teachers from California
You’ll also need a reliable internet connection, a teaching device, a headset with a microphone, and a webcam. For most modern computers, the built in webcam works just fine.
(If you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, this post has some popular VIPKID alternatives where you can teach english online without a degree!)
How much does VIPKID pay?
VIPKID pays $14-$22 USD per hour. When you do your interview for VIPKID, you’ll receive a base pay rate between $7 and $9 USD per class. Teachers can also receive additional incentives and referral bonuses. Since classes are 25-minutes long, most teachers have two classes per hour.
How do I apply to VIPKID?
After you’ve filled out the basic information, you’ll complete the VIPKID interview and demo lesson. This is where you demonstrate your teaching skills to a VIPKID evaluator.
Once you’ve passed your VIPKID demo lesson, you’ll choose between teaching beginner students or intermediate students. You’ll get training materials for each level and you’ll also get sample lessons that you’ll need to prepare.
When you feel ready, you’ll schedule your VIPKID mock class. During this 30-minute session, you’ll teach the sample lessons you prepared to a mentor teacher. The mentor teacher will give you feedback and can answer questions about VIPKID.
It’s common to have to do the mock class more than once. Most people attempt the mock class a few times before passing. Think of this as your teacher training. Once you pass the mock class, you’ll be able to sign your contract and get your first VIPKID bookings.
Fun Facts about VIPKID
- They have been listed with Forbes as one of the best 100 companies for remote work
- They have offices in Beijing and San Francisco
- There are 0ver 60,000 teachers in the USA and Canada (Article Source CNBC)
- And over 500,000 students in China (Article Source CNBC)
My VIPKID Teacher Review 2020
I’ll start by breaking down my favorite and least favorite parts about teaching ESL online with VIPKID. I’ve also included a VIPKID pros and cons chart for quick reference.
|VIPKID Pros||VIPKID Cons|
|Work Remotely||Difficult peak hours for teachers in North America|
|Make your own schedule||Strict teacher cancellation policy|
|Easy to take time off||Teacher IT issues can be stressful|
|No lesson planning||Long application process with many steps|
|Close connection with students|
|Supportive teacher community|
|Fun and rewarding work|
VIPKID Pros and Perks
There are some pretty amazing aspects of teaching English online with VIPKID.
Remote Work Opportunity
VIPKID jobs let you work from home or work remotely. Your work is 100% online meaning you can work from your computer at your house, at your grandparent’s house, while visiting friends, on a sailboat, in a van you converted, anywhere! As long as you have a good internet connection and a quiet classroom space, the sky is the limit.
You get to make your own schedule
You get to choose whenever you want to work within the VIPKID operating hours (Beijing time 8:00 am – 10:00 pm, every day). There is no minimum or maximum weekly working hours.
You can teach while working a traditional full-time job, you can teach while traveling the world, you can pick up classes on weekends or evenings – there are endless possibilities. It’s totally up to you and you can work as much or as little as you want to suit your lifestyle and financial needs.
It’s easy to take time off with VIPKID
You don’t have to request time off with VIPKID. Simply don’t open classes at times you aren’t able to teach and you won’t be booked. If you have a long weekend away planned and don’t want to work, leave your schedule unavailable on the dates you’re gone and that’s it! Long weekend, secured.
No lesson planning
Another perk is there is no lesson planning required. All the lessons are provided for you so you don’ have to make materials on your time off. You can use props to make lessons more engaging but VIPKID teachers do not need to create power points, quizzes, or worksheets.
For me, this was one of the best parts about VIPKID compared to teaching in a traditional classroom. With VIPKID I only teach at the time I’m scheduled. There’s no outside planning required.
Connection with Students
In my experience, students in VIPKID are excited about their lessons. While there are occasionally kiddos who aren’t as thrilled about class, most students are excited to learn and practice English with you. Since the lessons are one-on-one, it’s fun to get to know your students and see them improve.
Close teacher community
Even though you won’t have co-workers down the hall, you’ll have lots of friends in VIPKID. VIPKID teachers are very well connected on all social media and there are many Facebook groups for sharing advice, prop ideas, classroom decoration inspiration, and more. VIPKID even has meet ups around the world so you can make lots of new friends in addition to new students.
Fun, meaningful work
I saved this one for last because I think it’s the best. When I started with VIPKID, I thought it would be a fun little side gig to make some extra travel money. But realized very quickly that I’d found a lot more than an online job.
The classes are so fun and the students bring so much joy to my life. I have a friend who works in the corporate world and she does two VIPKID classes in the morning before going to work because it puts her in a better mood to start the day.
As a teacher, you’re helping children learn a skill that they’ll carry with them for life. You’ll be there for the “ah-ha” light bulb moments, for the silly times when you both can’t stop giggling, for the moments of pride they feel when they read a story all by themselves for the first time.
You’ll learn something too, about what home looks like on the other side of the world, about the best way to help a student stay focused and excited, about how other cultures view school and learning, about patience. And that feels pretty good.
I love most things about VIPKID, but no platform is perfect. In this section, we’ll look at some common VIPKID cons to consider before signing up.
Atypical work hours for teachers in the USA and Canada
Since VIPKID students live in China, classes take place mostly in the evening hours, China time. Since China is about 12 hours ahead of the East Coast, the highest demand for classes is 6:00 am – 8:00 am East Coast time. VIPKID is an awesome option for night owls and morning people, but you won’t be able to work typical hours during the day from the states.
Strict cancelation policy
A common criticism in VIPKID online teaching reviews is the cancelation policy. VIPKID has a strict cancelation policy. Once a class is scheduled, it’s difficult to cancel it. If you cancel last minute or don’t show up for a scheduled class, your payment could be docked.
If you must cancel last minute for a medical reason, you’ll have to submit documentation to prove a doctor’s visit or hospital stay in order to avoid being fined. VIPKID recently rolled out “soft” and “medium” cancelations where teachers won’t be penalized for missing class for certain reasons.
IT issues can be stressful
In VIPKID, having a reliable internet connection is extremely important. If there’s a technical issue on the teacher’s side, the class could get canceled and the teacher won’t get paid for the session.
If technical issues prevent the teacher from entering the classroom on time, sometimes it can be difficult to prove it was a technical problem and not a teacher no-show. Having a backup internet source like a hot spot is a great way to prevent teacher IT issues.
Long Application Process
The application process for VIPKID is longer than some of the other online teaching companies. You will submit a short written application, do a 30-minute interview and demo class, complete mock classes, take a TEFL training course if you’re not already certified, and upload your documents. Some people go through the hiring process in a few weeks, but it can take longer if you have a busy schedule or if there are delays processing applications.
VIPKID Job Review Conclusions
With all that to consider, you might be wondering, “Is VIPKID worth it?”
In my experience, yes. The pros of VIPKID far outweigh the cons.
With any job, there will be occasional snags. Sometimes the internet is glitchy and the hours are early, but at the end of the day I’m happy with my teaching experience.