VIPKid Overview – What is VIPKid?
VIPKID are the leading online ESL teaching company that provides English 1-on-1 lessons through video chat to Chinese kids.
As an Online English Teacher you will earn an online income by teaching English to Chinese students over video chat through the VIPKid teacher portal. You will have a guided lesson plan in front of you, ensuring that you won't need to do much prior preparation.
VIPKid Schedule and Hours
The peak hours represented in the tables below are the times where you will receive the most bookings of students.
VIPKid Peak Hours (Standard Time)
|Beijing Time 6pm – 10pm||Beijing Time 9am – 10pm||Beijing Time 9am – 10pm|
|EST (Eastern Time)||5am – 9am||Fri 8pm – Sat 9am||Sat 8pm – Sun 9am|
|CST (Central Time)||4am – 8am||Fri 7pm – Sat 8am||Sat 7pm – Sun 8am|
|MST (Mountain Time)||3am – 7am||Fri 6pm – Sat 7am||Sat 6pm – Sun 7am|
|PST (Pacific Time)||2am – 6am||Fri 5pm – Sat 6am||Sat 5pm – Sun 6am|
|Hawaii||12am – 4am||Fri 3pm – Sat 4am||Sat 3pm – Sun 4am|
VIPKID Peak Hours (Daylight Saving Time)
|United States |
|Beijing Time 6pm – 10pm||Beijing Time 9am – 10pm||Beijing Time 9am – 10pm|
|EST (Eastern Time)||6am – 10am||Fri 9pm – Sat 10am||Sat 9pm – Sun 10am|
|CST (Central Time)||5am – 9am||Fri 8pm – Sat 9am||Sat 8pm – Sun 9am|
|MST (Mountain Time)||4am – 8am||Fri 7pm – Sat 8am||Sat 7pm – Sun 8am|
|PST (Pacific Time)||3am – 7am||Fri 6pm – Sat 7am||Sat 6pm – Sun 7am|
|Hawaii||1am – 5am||Fri 4pm – Sat 5am||Sat 4pm – Sun 5am|
Here is a table to explain the VIPKID pay system:
VIPKID Pay Summary = An hourly rate ranging between $14-$22.
What Is the Application Process at VIPKid Like?
The application process to get accepted into the VIPKid fold might seem intimidating, but it's actually simpler than it might appear. Here are the basic steps:
- Register with a valid email address
- Perform a short “demo” class on a topic provided by VIPKid
- Perform a “mock class” under the observation of a VIPKid teacher. Afterward, he or she will offer insights into your demonstrated strengths and weaknesses.
- VIPKid then verifies your uploaded necessary documents
- You are offered the contract you are after and, after signing on the dotted line, you become a full-fledged VIPKid teacher
VIPKid Reviews –What Do Current and Former Teachers Say About VIPKid?
The general consensus of the reviews from VIPKid teachers is that it is a good side income or part-time work if you aren't living in a place with a lower cost of living.
How Can VIPKid Help Me Live the Digital Nomad Lifestyle?
A global movement was afoot of Western expats lifting stakes to live the “digital nomad” lifestyle. Essentially, this means working remotely with an employer such as VIPKid while living pretty much wherever you like – be it Fiji, Moscow, or the Congo. As long as where you are headed has an internet speed of at least 25 Mbps, you can work for VIPKid. To see your current internet speed, run a free diagnostic test.
How Does the VIPKid Background Check Work?
At the end of the application process, VIPKid requires that its teachers submit and pass a background check. All you need to do on your end is supply the accurate information and the company takes care of the rest. The entire process generally takes 7-10 business days.
What Are VIPKid ‘Peak Hours'?
While classes are available throughout the day, VIPKid encourages its teachers to try to be available during “peak hours” – times when Chinese schoolchildren are most likely to be available for English lessons.
For teachers on the eastern seaboard (EST) of the United States or Canada, these “peak hours” occur 6am-9am on weekdays and 8:30pm-9am on weekends.
You are free to teach at whatever hours you like, but be advised that the majority of availabilities fall within these timeframes.
What Counts as ‘Experience' Working With Children?
In addition to the standard requirements for digital ESL work such as a university degree and fast internet connection, you may have noticed somewhat of an unusual requirement for an entry-level ESL position on the web: “2 years of teaching experience.”
Don't let this scare you off: many, many activities can be counted as “teaching experience” for the purposes of landing a gig with VIPKid. Examples might include:
· Sunday schooling
Feel free to get creative with what constitutes your teaching experience background. You don't need to lie, but you also don't need to limit yourself to the conventional definitions of “teaching.”
Is Speaking Chinese a Requirement to Teach With VIPKid?
One of the more common questions that prospective teachers who are new to the growing China-based online ESL industry is: what if I don't speak Mandarin?
The answer is: it doesn't matter, not even a little bit. Parents and teachers in China want their students to practice with native English speakers – in English. They are not at all interested in your Mandarin skills. Furthermore, if they were to require mandarin proficiency as a job requirement, they would find themselves without teachers. Approximately 1% of the US population speaks mandarin.
What Does ‘Work Authorization in US or Canada' Mean?
VIPKid limits its teaching opportunities to instructors from North America. In this context, “work authorization” means that you are legally eligible to work in the US or Canada. In most circumstances, this will simply mean that you are at least 18 and a citizen of either country. However, this also opens the door for non-citizens who have guest worker visas or “green cards” that allow them to legally work in the country.
Essentially, if you have documentation of legal status in either America or Canada, you meet this threshold. There is an important caveat here, though: due to complicated legal wrangling over the tax statuses of “independent contractors,” VIPKid does not currently allow residents of California, New York, or Washington to work with the company. “Residency” here is a reference to your tax residency status.
What Is VIPKid's ‘Diversity Policy' All About?
VIPKid has a professed commitment to “diversity and inclusion.” The company explains its rationale behind this policy:
“Diverse perspectives and backgrounds are essential to our mission of inspiring and empowering every child for the future. By fostering diversity and inclusion, we accelerate innovation to build a global classroom that connects cultures across the world and empowers global citizens for lifelong learning.”
The founder of VIPKid, Cindy Mi, goes on to explain that VIPKid's mission extends beyond mere ESL education; they are working to build a global citizenry of tomorrow.
What this means in practice for you as an applicant is that if you have a unique cultural or ethnic background, you are welcome at VIPKid.
More Detail on the VIPKid Requirements?
1. Bachelor's Degree
A Bachelor's degree is an essential for teaching with VIPKID, as they want to guarantee to their customers that their teachers are highly educated.
The good news is that this can be in any subject or field!
2. USA/Canada Citizen
Being a citizen of the US or Canada is a strict requirement. The American form of the English language is the desired choice for VIPKID customers.
You can teach from anywhere in the world…but unfortunately you cannot be a citizen from anywhere in the world!
But don't worry if you don't meet this requirement. DigiNo has plenty of other online teaching companies to suit you.
3. Northern US Accent
This means a neutral accent, as opposed to the more distinct accents from southern States such as Texas.
This is because VIPKID promises parents and students an authentic American learning environment, so that is why places like the UK and Australia are excluded.
4. Stable Internet Connection
Of course, to teach from your laptop you'll need a stable internet connection. The general rule of thumb for online teaching jobs is a minimum requirement of 10mbps download speed and 2 mbps upload speed.
You don't want to fill out the VIPKID application to find out that your internet speed was your only hurdle after their internet test. So check your speed now on speedtest.net.
And if your speed isn't quite up to scratch, check out 4 of the best broadband providers in the US for online teachers.
5. Experience with Children
Interacting with children is a big part of the job…well, it is the job! So VIPKID want to ensure you have experience with children aged 4-12.
This doesn't mean you have to have teaching experience, but any kind of mentoring or instructing is acceptable.
6. Desktop Computer or Laptop
A desktop computer or laptop is a must. This will be your portable classroom when teaching for VIPKid…so making sure you have one with the adequate specifications to run the teaching software would be a good idea.
7. HD Webcam
VIPKid involves teaching through video conference software so therefore a HD webcam is essential.
Most laptops will already have this built in, but if yours isn't incredibly clear or if you have a desktop computer, here is a list of the best webcams for online ESL teachers.
8. Headset with Microphone
You will need a headset with microphone to communicate with the VIPKID students. This is one you want to really get right as the clarity of your voice is what will help the students learn.
And also, because you will be wearing them for a number of hours, you don't want to get a headset that hurts your ears or is uncomfortable.
So here's a list of some recommended headsets for VIPKID.
9. Teaching Certification
A teaching certificate such as a TESOL or TEFL is a requirements to teach ESL online. This can be achieved fairly simply. You can read a guide on teaching certificates here.
Is VIPKid a legit way to earn an income?
Yes, VIPKid and online ESL teaching is a legitimate way to earn an income.
It currently boasts over 60,000 teachers and 500,000 students, and overseas operations in over 100 countries.
VIPKid declared ‘cash sales’ to be at 3.54 billion yuan, approximately $500 million, as of 2017.
Does VIPKid have a referral program?
Yes, teachers can earn bonuses by referring other teachers to the role.
On July 30th 2020 they announced the ending of their affiliate program
Which means that now only VIPKid teachers will now be able to use a referral link to refer teachers. This is great news for teachers as it gives them more of a chance to earn the referral bonus, compared to affiliates with large digital audiences.
What are some PROS and CONS of VIPKid
PRO – Flexibility
One of the best things about VIPKID is the flexibility they afford their teachers. Many ESL companies require teachers to sign up to a fixed schedule, which can be a pain if you’re travelling whilst working.
VIPKID is fully flexible in the sense that teachers choose the days and hours they want to work. As long as you book your schedule 30 days in advance, you can work whenever you want.
This makes working on the road much more feasible as you can plan ahead for periods where you might not be able to access reliable internet and simply not schedule any classes on those days.https://digino.org/apply-to-vipkid/embed/#?secret=oK9pFRIETu
CON – Class Booking System
Unfortunately, all that flexibility comes at a price. With no fixed contracted hours, you’re not guaranteed a steady stream of classes on the days that you do choose to work, which means your schedule won’t always be as full as you might like (and neither will your paycheck).
With VIPKid, the parents choose the teacher and book the classes for the student. This is different than some other ESL companies like DaDa in which the company assigns students to teachers.
This means that, if you want a full schedule, you’ll have to convince the parents to choose you – and that puts you in direct competition with other teachers.
Most people consider this a con as it puts more pressure on teachers to perform and creates a competitive atmosphere that some people don’t like. It also means that whilst some teachers are fully booked weeks ahead, others struggle to fill their slots.
You can maximise your chances of having a full schedule booked by opening up slots far in advance and being available during Beijing peak hours.
How does VIPKid compare to other companies? (VIPKid vs SayABC)
VIPKID was the first real mainstream ESL platform to gain any traction and is still probably the most famous.
SayABC is a newer company but is also one of the fastest growing education platforms thanks to solid marketing, backing from tier-one investors in China, and fair employment policies.
SayABC are also owned by VIPKid…which creates a very interesting comparison. Why would VIPKid need to create an alternative online teaching opportunity?
SayABC class bookings work based on a fixed schedule. You choose the periods you’d like to work at the start of your contract and the system fills your schedule with bookings. You’ll be teaching classes of four students for three-month periods at a time.
VIPKid don’t offer fixed schedules, which is great if you’re looking for something flexible but less great if you’re looking for a stable contract.
SayABC differ from VIPKid in that they don't have an exclusive North American hiring policy.
How much money can you make with VIPKid?
What are some tips for passing the VIPKid demo?
VIPKID Demo Tips:
1) Happy & Lots of Energy
Be sure to smile! That is your greatest tool!
2) Speak slower
Remember that this lesson is a level 2. The child is about 5 years of age with 6 months of English learning.
3) Simple Language
Stick to the objectives and avoid adding fillers such as, “On the next slide.” or “Now we are going to.”
4) Have Props
Some recommended props include: a whiteboard and marker, flashcards, a puppet, play food/toys/animals, a reward system & realia (Objects around the house that apply to the specific lesson).
Total Physical Response is your ability to show with actions and facial expressions what the words mean as well as helping the child with directions. You also want the student to be doing the actions as they state the words for those kinaesthetic learners.
When you state, “Monkey” you act like a monkey. This is educational TPR.
When you ask, “What is your name?” you would do question arms and then gesture towards the child as you hold up your name or point to a name tag for “name.” This is instructional TPR.
Be sure to show not just say. Model your expectations for activities, full sentences, and any grammar or pronunciation errors.
7) Student Output
You want the student to be speaking 50-70% of the time in class. Get them talking instead of you talking the majority of the time!
8) Synthetic Phonics
You want to avoid the “uh” sound at the end of letters when blending. See the video at the top of page for an example.
- An educational background
- Great lighting (LED lightbulb in a lamp)
- Great internet connection
10) Have FUN!
Be silly and get the child to laugh and smile. Learning a language should be fun!
Are VIPKid always hiring?
They are hiring teachers but not actively running any hiring campaigns. This means that teachers can still apply, be interviewed and have their documents processed after passing the application stages, but their onboarding and first few weeks might see a slow start.
VIPKid are one of the more popular companies, so there is a lot of saturation in the market, possibly making it harder to get bookings once hired.
If you would like to explore your options, you can check out the list of alternative online teaching companies.