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Are you a traveler looking to sustain your travels while still on the road? Are you a stay-at-home mom who needs to make some extra money without leaving your home? Are you interested in teaching English as a second language abroad, but don’t want to fly across the world to do so? Or maybe you’re just someone looking for a job that has more flexibility and can work around your schedule. Well then, working with VIPKID just might be the best job for you!
Becoming a VIPKID teacher is a great way to make easy money from the comforts of your home or from anywhere you please! I know this because I have been with VIPKID for a while now, and I make about $2000 a month working 15-20 hours a week! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, click here to apply or keep reading to learn everything you need to know about teaching with VIPKID!
Below is an index on everything you’ll find in this article. Feel free to click any of the sections below if you are looking for something specific.
- 1 What is VIPKID?
- 2 How Much Money Can I Earn With VIPKID?
- 3 The VIPKID Teacher Hiring Process
- 3.1 Step 1: Apply
- 3.2 Step 2: Interview + Demo Lesson
- 3.3 Step 3: Teacher Training
- 3.4 Step 4: Mock Class (Teacher Practicum)
- 3.5 Step 5: Sign Contract + Submit Required Materials
- 3.6 Step 6: Start Teaching
- 4 What to Expect Once You’re Hired With VIPKID
- 4.1 What Pay Should I Expect the First Month I Am Hired?
- 4.2 Do I Have to Come Up With My Own Lesson Plans?
- 4.3 What Will I Need to Teach as a VIPKID Teacher?
- 4.4 Am I Required to Teach at Specific Times With VIPKID?
- 4.5 So How Does Scheduling Work Anyway?
- 4.6 How Do Students Book Me, or How Do I Pick VIPKIDs to Teach?
- 4.7 Can I Travel and Teach With VIPKID?
- 5 What Does a Typical Class Look Like With VIPKID?
- 6 The Pros and Cons of Teaching With VIPKID
- 6.1 Benefits of Teaching With VIPKID
- 6.2 What are the Downsides to Teaching With VIPKID
- 7 My Experience With VIPKID So Far!
- 8 I’m Ready to Become a VIPKID Teacher
- 9 Inspired? Pin this for later…
What is VIPKID?
VIPKID is a leading Chinese online education company providing children in China between the ages of 5 – 12 with a North American elementary education from the comforts of their home. Through the VIPKID program, Chinese kids are linked to native North American English speakers who teach them 25 minute lessons in a virtual classroom based on the US’s Common Core State Standard curriculum.
Since their launch in 2013, VIPKID has grown exponentially enrolling over 800,000 Chinese students and 10,000 American and Canadian teachers to teach these students. VIPKID’s success has gotten both local and international recognition and praise. They are paving the way for online language learning, as well as demonstrating how companies/schools should properly pay their teachers.
Ready to apply? Click here!
How Much Money Can I Earn With VIPKID?
I know… the question you’ve been waiting for and probably the main reason you are reading this article! So what is the pay? Well it depends on you really! Based on your teaching experiences, credentials, and how well you do during the initial interview, your base pay will be between $7-9 per 25-minute class, or $14-18 an hour! Think that’s too low, well I’m not done yet!
On top of the base pay, teachers receive an extra $1 bonus per class for just showing up and doing their job, and then an additional $1 bonus per class if they teach 45 or more classes in one month.
So, hourly payment is calculated as such (base pay+$2)*2 USD, assuming you teach 45+ classes, which is pretty easy to do!
Oh, did I mention that on top of the base pay and bonuses, VIPKID offers their teachers extra incentives as well? For each short notice class (classes booked between 2 to 24 hours before class), teachers receive $2, in addition to the base pay + bonuses. Also, when teachers teach a trial class and the student signs up for VIPKID, they get an additional $5 for every sign up! VIPKID loves their teachers and want to keep us happy by paying us more! At least that’s what I like to think, and this article proves it as well.
Okay, just to make sure you understand what VIPKID pays their teachers, it’s time for a scenario: Yay! Time for math 🙂
Let’s say Jim is a VIPKID teacher with a base pay of $7.50 per class. This month Jim taught 63 classes, 15 of which were short notice classes. Of the 12 trial classes he taught, 5 kids signed up. How much is Jim getting paid this month?
I know you hate doing math, so I will just tell you the answer, it’s $653.50.
That’s not bad for someone who worked only 31.5 hours in a month in his pjs! I like to call that winning!
So How Much Do I Make?
I have been with VIPKID for 4 months now, and I make an average of $2,000 each month teaching 15-20 hours a week! So yeah, VIPKID has been really good to me and my pockets, especially since I have been traveling through Southeast Asia for the last four months!
I Heard/Read That VIPKID Does Not Pay Their Teachers, Is That True?
That’s total bullshit! VIPKID pays all their teachers. If they didn’t, I sure as hell would not have continued to work with them after the first month. I always get paid on time (the 15th of each month) and sometimes my pay is in my account two days early, so don’t believe the crap you heard. It’s not a scam, you get paid! I have the money to prove it, or this screenshot!
Now you know how you can make easy money and travel like a king in Thailand, you can stop reading now. Apply here and thank me in the comments below! Just kidding, keep reading! There is so much more to know about VIPKID!
Ready to apply? Click here!
The VIPKID Teacher Hiring Process
Step 1: Apply
This is the easiest step of the rigorous VIPKID selection process. However, before you click this link to apply, make sure you meet all the requirements. VIPKID is pretty strict about the teachers they accept, only 6 – 10% of applicants are accepted, so be sure you meet the requirements below to avoid wasting your time as well as theirs.
- Bachelor’s degree (at minimum an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education)
- Native English speaker (American or Canadian)
- Experience teaching kids between ages 5-12
- Working computer with high-speed internet and audio capabilities
- Pass a criminal background check (recently implemented)
If you meet these requirements, go to VIPKID to apply. This is where you will enter basic information about yourself, your current location and your resume. Make sure to highlight any and every teaching experience you may have, as this is your ticket to moving to the next step.
Step 2: Interview + Demo Lesson
If your application is accepted, you will be invited to do an interview + demo class. This is where you will have to showcase your teaching skills. VIPKID now gives candidates two options to do the interview, either face to face or a recording.
- Face-To-Face Interview: With this option you will do your interview “in-person” (via online) with a VIPKID admin. Your interviewer will begin the interview by asking you about your qualifications and teaching experience. Once that part is done, your interviewer will act like a 5-year-old child and you will teach the demo lesson to him/her for 15 minutes.
- Recorded Interview: This option is mainly for you convenience, as all you need to do is record yourself teaching the demo class to an imaginary kid. You will have ten minutes to teach ten slides. Note: There will be no one in the classroom with you.
This is the most important step of the application process, as this is where your base pay will be determined and where VIPKID determines if you are a good fit for them! You definitely want to be as prepared as possible.
How Can I Be Sure I Pass the Interview and Demo Lesson?
Assuming you meet the requirements, here are my quick tips to help you pass the VIPKID interview.
Here Are My Quick Tips for Passing the VIPKID Interview
1.) Be prepared: VIPKID gives you the material ahead of time to prepare, so spend some time reviewing it and prepping for the class. Don’t just show up and wing it. It won’t work, regardless of how long you have been teaching.
2.) Be energetic, smile, and praise: No one wants to be taught by a grouchy, low energy, boring teacher. Students will emulate your energy, so give it your all even if you are having a crappy day! Also, be sure to praise your students for everything they do well!
3.) Use TPR: What is TPR? In short, TPR means Total Physical Response, and it’s a method of teaching language based on listening and physical activities. The idea is that by doing something physical when teaching, it will help a child remember, learn faster and make learning more meaningful for them. For example, to teach the word “look” or “see”, a teacher will use their fingers to form a circle around their eyes (like binoculars) and the student should respond by mimicking the teacher’s actions.
4.) Correct mistakes: If the student makes a mistake don’t be afraid to correct them, just remember to do it in a positive manner!
5.) Talk slowly: By speaking slowly, you give your student the opportunity to understand what you are saying. Also, you want to avoid complicated words and use simple words and phrases! Ex: Instead of saying “do you know what this is?” say “What is this?” It’s simple and still conveys the question you want to ask.
6.) Use a reward system/props: Have a reward system, such as a smiley face, and give the student a tooth each time they do a good job! Also, use props for the class. You don’t have to go out and buy props, just scan around your house and use objects appropriate for the class. For example, for my interview I used an apple, banana, and hand-drawn letters as props, and a lot of TPR.
7.) A good background: For the interview and all classes after, you will need a good background, good lighting and quiet surroundings. A blank/white wall for a background is perfect! If you don’t have a white wall, a solid-colored wall with no distractions will work fine as well. You will lose points if you don’t have good lighting and a good background.
8.) Observe 70/30 rule: You want to make sure the student is speaking the majority of the class! If you are talking 90% of the class, you’re doing it wrong! Encourage the student to repeat after you, to answer questions in full sentences, and read words on the slides.
9.) Good internet connection: You don’t want to have spotty internet when doing this interview, as they will disqualify you if they feel your internet connection is not adequate. After all, this job does depend on a good internet connection.
10.) Be mindful of your time: Pace yourself throughout the lesson. You want to spend between 1-1.5 minutes on each slide. Any more means on other slides you will spend less time or go over the allotted time. Extra tip: Don’t spend too much time on the review slides.
11.) Be aware of your camera space: Test your camera ahead of time to check how you look, how to correctly show your props and rewards, etc. Lastly, sit back a bit from the camera so you can properly use the camera space. This way, your face, hands and props show without being cut off!
12.) Wear an orange shirt: Though it is no longer required to wear an orange shirt while teaching, you do get extra points for wearing one during the interview. It shows your awareness of the company and its policies. If you don’t have an orange shirt, don’t sweat it! Just wear a plain non-distracting shirt.
Step 3: Teacher Training
After completing step 2, you will be given 6 hours of training materials to review. The materials, which will be in the form of videos and PowerPoint, will give you an overview of VIPKID, their policies, standards, technology and curriculum. After reviewing the materials, you will be given a quiz. You will need to get 80% correct in order to make it to the next step! No need to stress about it, you can redo the quiz multiples times. Once you’ve passed the quiz, you will be asked to schedule your first mock class/practicum.
Step 4: Mock Class (Teacher Practicum)
During this step you will complete up to two mock classes with one of the VIPKID teachers (mock mentor). The mock class will be just like a real class, the purpose of this is to see how you handle teaching online. You will teach a class to your mock mentor, who will also play the role of a 5-year-old Chinese student. Each mock class lasts about an hour and will be broken up into three parts. Below is a general breakdown of how the mock classes will go.
1.) Introductions: The first five minutes will be introductions. This will be your opportunity to ask questions you may have, like how to teach a slide or explain something.
2.) Teach Class: You will teach for 25 minutes, however it will be broken up into 2 parts. For Mock Class 1, you will teach 2 levels: Beginners (level 2), and Intermediate (level 5). For the first part you will teach a level 2 lesson for 15 minutes, then the mock mentor will stop you to give feedback. The mock mentor will tell you what’s going well and how to improve. After this short pause you will teach a level 5 lesson for the remaining 10 minutes. Be sure to implement the feedback you are given during the second half. It will show your ability to quickly apply feedback. As for Mock Class 2, assuming you pass Mock Class 1, you will teach only one level (whichever level you scored the highest on Mock 1). You will teach the first 14 slides for 15 minutes then get feedback and teach the remaining slides for 10 minutes.
3.) Feedback: Once you finish teaching the lesson, you will be given feedback on your overall mock class for ~10 minutes. If your mentor is nice, they might tell you your next step. The next step could be moving straight into teaching (less common), doing a second mock class (more common) or unfortunately, not being accepted as a teacher with VIPKID :(. Nonetheless, the official decision of your next step will come via email.
As for me, I was part of the lucky few that went straight to signing my contract and becoming a teacher after the first mock class. If you have to do a second mock class don’t feel discouraged, it just means they want to see how you improve with the feedback you are given. Having to do a second mock class is seriously becoming the norm!
Tips for Passing the Mock Classes/Practicum:
The tips I provided to help you pass the interview process are 100% applicable for the mock classes, and should definitely be implemented during your practicums. In addition to those tips, here are a few extras:
1.) Implement feedback: Take the feedback you were given during the interview or mock 1 to improve your teaching!
2.) Show or simplify instructions: Rather than explaining to the student what they will do next, just demonstrate it. For example, don’t say “next you will look at the picture, find the letter T and circle the letter T”, rather circle the letter T, while saying “circle T”. Think of it as “I Do, We Do, You Do”. Remembering this and doing it during class will definitely help!
3.) Encourage student output: The student should be talking on every slide as well as saying the target sentences (you get the list of sentences before class) as often as possible. Also, remember to encourage the student to answer in full sentences!
Step 5: Sign Contract + Submit Required Materials
Yay! The hard part is over! Now you will review the VIPKID contract, sign it and upload the required materials for approval. Required materials include the signed contract and scanned copies of your bachelor’s degree, government issued ID, and teaching certifications, if you have any. For the next half of this step you will upload additional things to create your profile for the VIPKID parents and students. This will include a short greeting video, a few photos of yourself and a completed W-9 form so you can get paid!
Step 6: Start Teaching
You are officially a VIPKID teacher after you have successfully completed step 5. Now you can open time slots so students can book you!
Oh, and for successfully completing the rigorous application process, VIPKID pays you $40. See, I told you they love to give their teachers money 🙂 <- No longer offered by VIPKID.
Ready to apply? Click here!
What to Expect Once You’re Hired With VIPKID
What Pay Should I Expect the First Month I Am Hired?
I am going to keep it a hundred! Don’t expect to be bathing in money and make $2,000+ the first month with VIPKID! The first month will be slow, as you have to build your reputation, get regulars and increase your VIPKID booking rates. And even though VIPKID helps you the first month by giving you a few classes to start off, they do not guarantee a steady stream of classes.
I started with VIPKID during the worst possible time, Chinese New Year. This is when bookings are drastically decreased, as students are enjoying their 2-3 week vacation! I didn’t get my first class until 25 days after my contract started, when CNY came to an end! I was only able to work 10 hours that month and made $160 (not bad though)! However, the following month I made $2,200. So two things to take away from my situation is don’t apply during CNY and be patient the first month, things will pick up!
Do I Have to Come Up With My Own Lesson Plans?
NOPE! VIPKID creates all the lessons, so all you have to do is show up and teach! Okay, you can’t just show up. You’ll need to review the lesson and prep for the class. Prep time differs for each teacher, but it’s usually 3-10 minutes. After a few weeks of teaching, prep time is cut down to like a minute, since most times you’ve already taught the class. Although there is already a set curriculum, teachers have the freedom to teach the way they want! Oh, and did I mention that there are no papers to grade, no essays to read or crazy parents to deal with!?
Besides teaching the class, the only other thing required of teachers is writing feedback for each student. Writing and submitting feedback for each student after class is mandatory for every teacher. If a teacher neglects to submit feedback after 24 hours of teaching a class, they won’t get paid for that class!
What Will I Need to Teach as a VIPKID Teacher?
1.) Computer/Laptop: I currently use my Macbook Air, and it works perfectly for me.
2.) Webcam: I recommend investing in a good quality webcam. My favorite is the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920.
3.) Headset: Many teachers use a professional headset like this one, where background noise can be muted. Since I refuse to add unnecessary stuff to my travel backpack, I use my small headphones (like the ones given with iPhones) and teach somewhere quiet.
4.) Good Internet Connection: This is pretty self-explanatory, especially since it’s an online company! I travel with a mobile hotspot from Tep Wireless as a backup.
5.) Reward System: Though there is an internal reward system in the VIPKID classroom where you can give a student a star every time they do something well, it’s way more rewarding for the student to have additional rewards.
Materials You Will Eventually Need
Since I am a long-term traveler and live out of my backpack, I keep the amount of props I have to the basics. You do not need 1001 props for class. I found the basics, and my silliness works wonders. With the basics, I still manage to get my time slots filled with mostly regulars and still make my desired monthly pay! I like to think my minimalist classroom and teaching style is awesome lol, since students keep coming back. Anywho, here are the basic props you really need:
Am I Required to Teach at Specific Times With VIPKID?
Your teaching schedule is whatever you want it to be. Teachers are 100% in control of their schedule. You pick the days and times you want to work!
When I started with VIPKID there was a minimum requirement to work 7.5 hours a week, but they did away with that, which means you can truly work whenever you want! If you want to work only one hour one week and 80 hours the next, you can! There’s no maximum or minimum hours you must work! This is the perfect job for people looking to make extra cash, stay-at-home moms, travelers, and well, anyone really!
So How Does Scheduling Work Anyway?
Once you are a VIPKID teacher, you will have access to your teacher portal. In the portal you will be able to choose your teaching availability in time slots between 9:00am – 9:30pm Beijing time. You can open your schedule one month in advance, but students can only book you on a weekly basis. Once you put in your schedule for the week or month, you can alter it as many times as you want, as long as a student did not book that time slot.
As for me, I work about 15 – 20 hours a week. Most weeks most of my time slots are booked during “peak times”. Peak times are from 6:00pm – 9:00pm Beijing time Monday – Friday and 9:00am – 9:30pm Beijing time on the weekends! Those are the times when most Chinese students take their VIPKID lessons and demand for teachers is highest.
How Do Students Book Me, or How Do I Pick VIPKIDs to Teach?
With VIPKID, you don’t pick the students you teach nor will you be teaching the same kid every class! Students (more like the parents) are the ones who pick their teachers each week, and teachers teach whoever books them. This means you will not teach the same kid every week, unless a kid or parent loves your teaching style and books you each week, becoming your regular student.
Can I Travel and Teach With VIPKID?
Of course! I wouldn’t be telling you about VIPKID if you couldn’t. Well, maybe I would because it’s pretty awesome and you can make easy money! I am traveling full-time with just a small 40L backpack, and I still manage to make about $2,000 a month with VIPKID. So far I have been to Bali, Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia, and next month I plan on backpacking through Europe for three months. I even wrote an article on “How to Teach with VIPKID while Traveling” so if you are a traveler (or enjoy taking vacations), know that you can travel and still teach with VIPKID.
Ready to apply? Click here!
What Does a Typical Class Look Like With VIPKID?
What is Teaching With VIPKID Like?
Teaching with VIPKID is not difficult at all! It’s a pretty sweet teaching gig if you ask me! You show up, load up the PowerPoint, release your inner child, act silly, make funny faces, sing off-key, play with toys, laugh, and scream all while teaching English to a student! It’s like being paid to act silly, be positive and have fun!
Prior to class, VIPKID gives their students pre-class work to complete before you teach them. It’s almost like homework, but more fun. The pre-class work helps the student familiarize themselves with phrases, vocabulary words, and concepts of the lesson, and it’s the teacher’s job to reinforce the learning during the 25-minute class. Since VIPKID is a full immersion teaching program, only English will be spoken in the classroom, which means you do not need to learn Mandarin to be a VIPKID teacher (thank gosh).
As for the logistical stuff, you will be teaching on a one to one basis. One student and one teacher for 25 minutes! All classes will take place on VIPKID’s own teaching platform! The platform is very similar to Skype, but more sophisticated. When you enter the classroom, it will look like the picture below! You will have three boxes, one where you will upload the lesson, and the other two are where you will see yourself teaching and the student.
All lessons are made as PowerPoints and usually consist of 26-30 slides. Once uploaded into the platform, you and the student can draw, write, type, and even circle objects on the slides. At the moment, VIPKID is slowly doing away with the old PPT lessons and implementing new and interactive PowerPoints where students can drag and drop objects, play sounds and so much more. This means classrooms are becoming even more fun for the students (and the teachers too) 🙂
What are the VIPKIDs (Students) Like?
Teaching VIPKIDs is not like teaching your typical American student, as 90% of those students don’t want to be in school. There will be those who want to sleep or play with their toys instead of being in class, but most of the VIPKIDs you teach want to be in class. Most are eager to learn and participate, especially since they know they are not going to a boring class, but a fun, silly and interactive class. These students are motivated and will surprise you! I seriously love these kids, especially my regular kids. They’re awesome, if you ask me!
Currently, all students are 5 to 12-years-old and their levels of English vary. However, VIPKID recently introduced their PreVIP program for younger kids. If you get a certificate to teach PreVIP kids, you will teach students younger than 5 but older than 2 years old.
Ready to apply? Click here!
The Pros and Cons of Teaching With VIPKID
Nothing and nobody is perfect, including VIPKID. This is why I am laying out the good and the bad of working with VIPKID, with no filter or sensor. This way you know exactly what you will get into if you choose to apply to be a VIPKID teacher. As for me, I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and 4 months down the line, I don’t regret it one bit! Enough of my blabbering, here are the pros and cons of working with VIPKID:
Benefits of Teaching With VIPKID
The flexibility you have with this position is amazing, and it’s one of the main reasons people seek out this job. You can work whenever you want, whatever day you please and wherever you want. It’s an ideal job that works around your schedule. This is not a quality you will get with most jobs. Did you know that in January VIPKID was listed as the 5th best company to work from home with on Forbes’ Top 100 Work from Home Companies? Don’t believe me, you can check it out here.
2.) The Pay
Compared to most online companies, VIPKID pays their teachers fairly well. So well that some VIPKID teachers are leaving their full-time jobs to work full-time hours with VIPKID. With the ability to make $22 an hour, it’s a pretty ideal job. Can you think of a part-time position that pays you this well while working in your pjs or while backpacking through Guatemala? I didn’t think so!
3.) Opportunities to Make More Money
On top of your hourly pay, VIPKID gives you opportunities to make more money every month with their incentives and bonuses. For example, last month VIPKID gave $100,000 worth of extra money to 1,000 VIPKID teachers for having the most amount of excellent parent feedback. I got myself an extra $100 for being awesome. VIPKID also shows their appreciation for teachers who teach during the holidays with gifts and extra money! Like I said, they love paying their teachers 🙂
4.) Not Much is Required of You
As mentioned earlier, being a VIPKID teacher does not require you to do much! Come to class on time, teach a student in a fun, positive and energetic environment for 25 minutes and finally write feedback for the student after class. It’s a fairly easy job to accomplish, especially since you don’t have to create your own lesson plans, grade papers, assign homework or communicate with parents. All of that is done for you, you just need to be an awesome teacher and teach the lesson!
5.) Opportunity for Advancement
After you’ve completed your first contract, VIPKID often offer teachers a raise as well as the opportunity to become a mock class mentor or a teacher mentor. So with VIPKID, there are opportunities for advancement.
6.) Ongoing Trainings and Workshops
VIPKID is constantly providing additional trainings, evaluations, feedback and workshops to help teachers improve their teaching quality. By doing this, VIPKID continuously improves their teachers and the quality of education the students receive. As for trainings, they come in the form of PPTs and videos, while workshops are led by teacher mentors via video conferences. You are constantly learning and improving with VIPKID.
7.) VIPKID is Always Improving
VIPKID is growing rapidly, but they are making sure they are providing the best quality education to their students and the best working environment and ideal job for their teachers. They do this by constantly improving their system, curriculum, policy and overall company. VIPKID also listens to their teachers, take in their feedback and suggestions and make improvements, that’s why this company is becoming one of the leading online education companies in the world.
8.) The Community/Support
VIPKID does not throw you to the wolves once you become a teacher! You are supported in so many ways, not just by VIPKID but also by teachers around the world. You would think the VIPKID teachers would see you as competition, but they don’t! They are always there to help, give tips, share prop/reward ideas, and so much more. The VIPKID community is pretty amazing! The community is spread through various platforms such as Facebook, Skype group chats, forums and even in-state meetups. With VIPKID you are never alone, even if you teach at home alone in your pjs!
9.) The Kids are Awesome
The children are really a delight to teach. Since I teach mostly younger kids, they are super adorable and love being silly! They enjoy coming to class and if they missed you one class or couldn’t book you they will surely ask what happened. I had one student who said “I love you Teacher J” and gave me a virtual hug after class, I cried! I love those kids, they truely are what make VIPKID amazing for me, the money is just a bonus.
What are the Downsides to Teaching With VIPKID
1.) Teacher Cancellation Policy is Strict
There are two things VIPKID is strict about, the application process and their teacher cancellation policy. Teachers are unfortunately allowed only six cancellations per contract, and after the 6th cancellation VIPKID can terminate your contract! I should mention that 3 cancelled classes in one calendar day is counted as one official cancellation, and within one day you can only get a maximum of 2 official cancellations. Nonetheless, for every class you do not show up for for whatever reason without informing VIPKID, or you do so with less than 2 hours before class, you will be deducted $10 from your pay. Yeah, I know that totally went over your head, right? Crazy complicated and strict. Well, I can help!
Remember our VIPKID teacher Jim from my scenario in the “How Much Can I Earn With VIPKID” section? Well, I forgot to tell you he was sick one day and didn’t show up for his scheduled 8 classes. He completely forgot to let VIPKID know! Poor Jim. So due to his sick day, $80 was deducted from his final pay and he used 2 of his 6 cancellations! So Jim really only made $573.50 that month.
*I should note that VIPKID does understand that things happen and emergencies come up. This is why they recently implemented a “soft” cancellation policy, where under certain circumstances VIPKID may invalidate your cancellation (meaning it won’t count towards your record, nor affect your pay) if supporting documents can be provided. These situations include power outages, natural disasters, serious illness, death, labor or birth. So yeah, it’s getting better.
2.) Have to Pay Taxes!
Even though VIPKID is a Chinese company, you are required to complete a W-9 form before signing the contract, which means you need to pay taxes. Paying taxes isn’t the issue, rather it’s the fact that you will have to PAY MORE taxes, because as a VIPKID teacher you are not an employee, rather you are an independent contractor. Why do you pay more you ask? Well, as an independent contractor federal and state taxes will not be withheld from your pay! This means you are responsible for paying your taxes on your own! I know, just when you thought you were going to escape Uncle Sam’s clutches or have an easy tax season.
So now you know the ugly truth behind those easy thousands of dollars you’ll rack up with VIPKID! Those thousands will be a lot less, as you will need to set money aside for taxes 🙁 If you want more information about being an independent contractor, here is a pdf with FAQ and another article that does a great job explaining why you pay more taxes as an independent contractor.
3.) It’s a Part-Time Gig
Though you can work way more than 40 hours a week and make full-time pay with VIPKID if you choose, your position is still part-time. Unfortunately, this means you are not given any benefits or health insurance, but then again what part-time position does?
4.) No Notification for New Bookings
When you receive a new booking, VIPKID does not notify you in any way. You have to check the portal often to find out if you have a new class, as students can book you at anytime throughout the week as long as it’s not within 24 hours of the class. However, the VIPKID app does send you a notification letting you know you have a class in 15 minutes, which might not be too bad if you are not far from a laptop!
5.) Hours are Not Guaranteed
Though I personally have not had issues with my time slots being booked, many teachers do complain about hours being sporadic and not getting bookings. As mentioned earlier, this will definitely be the case when starting off with VIPKID. It takes time and you need to build your reputation. Having a consistent schedule and doing a kick-ass job with the few kids you do get in the beginning will help drastically as you can potentially get regulars, i.e. guaranteed booked slots. So be patient and perfect your art, the students (and the moola) will come! After all, there are over 100,000 students and only 10,000 VIPKID teachers, so there’s no need to worry!
6.) Time Difference
Since VIPKID classes can only be taught between the hours of 9:00am – 9:30pm BJT, depending on where you live these hours may not be ideal working hours for you! For example, if you’re on Eastern Standard Time, your peak teaching hours will be between 6:00am – 9:00am on weekdays (6:00pm – 9:00pm Beijing time), which can suck for people that aren’t morning people! However, some people don’t mind it and find that they get most of the day to do whatever they want and their body adjusts well. So far time difference hasn’t been an issue for me. I have been in Southeast Asia and the time difference is only an hour, let’s see how I do once I am in Europe.
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My Experience With VIPKID So Far!
As you know I have been with VIPKID now for four months and I truly love it. My partner in crime, Ben, even say it’s crazy how I light up when I am teaching. For me, VIPKID is not a job, it’s a hobby! It’s pretty awesome being paid to do something I love and working with kids. I am grateful I found VIPKID.
VIPKID is now my main source of income and is supplying all my monetary needs so we can continue traveling. It has been super good to me and I have no plans on quitting! Besides being able to do something I love, and getting paid well, I love the flexibility of VIPKID. I love that when I am on the road traveling I can reduce my hours or not work at all, and when I am settled into a destination I can work as many hours as I please.
VIPKID is great, but I am not saying there aren’t days when I am exhausted and need a break from teaching. Sometimes IT issues make me want to pull out my hair or I am ready to choke a student for being a pain in the ass. However, those days don’t outweigh the good ones at all, and that is why VIPKID works for me.
I am not the only teacher who feels this way about being a VIPKID teacher. Most, if not all VIPKID teachers love their job and the company they’re working for. There are many VIPKID teachers who took this part-time gig to make extra cash with no intentions of liking it and ending up falling in love with it. It’s totally worth a try if you are interested, because you just might love it and if you don’t, you can always quit!
Would I Recommend VIPKID to Other People?
Umm, clearly! I did write an entire guide to convince you to join this awesome company! I feel like I have found gold, hence why I am sharing this company with you, so you too can feel the joy of working with those amazing kids and a company that gets it and pays well. However, I will say that you should only apply if you like kids and enjoy working with them! Otherwise, you just might hate this job. Though, I think those cute and adorable kids just might make you fall in love with VIPKID!
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I’m Ready to Become a VIPKID Teacher
I know that was a lot to read, but now at least you know everything you need to know about VIPKID to apply. If you have any questions about applying or working with VIPKID, feel free to comment below.
So, what are you waiting for?! Apply now!
Good luck on your application! Can’t wait for you to join the VIPKID Community!
Please Note: This article will be updated periodically to make sure you have the most up-to-date information on VIPKID.