Is VipKid a Scam? My Honest Review

How would you like to get paid $18-$22/hour teaching ESL online? Sounds like a decent gig to me. That’s what VipKid claims pay, but is VipKid a scam or a legitimate job?

Let’s find out….

What IS VipKid?

VipKid is a website that pays ESL teachers to teach kids in China through video calls. It was started in 2013 by Cindy Mi and Jessie Chen, and has since grown rapidly and attracted major investors – including Kobe Bryant!

If you are the teacher-type, VipKid is an opportunity that’s definitely worth looking into. The pay is good, and you get to teach kids from across the planet!

In order to teach with VipKid, you have to go through a vigorous application process. If you get approved, your profile will be visible to Chinese parents, who can select you as a their child’s teacher.

As a teacher, you’ll be teaching kids one on one. Each lesson lasts for about half an hour – 25 minutes for the lesson itself, and 5 minutes for a sort of Q&A session.

The kids you will be teaching range in age from 4-12.

The class follows the Common Core guidelines, and all the material is provided for you. However, you will want to review the material 6-12 hours in advance.

Related: Looking for a VIPKid alternative? Read our Wyzant review.

VipKid Review

VipKid homepage

VipKid Teacher Requirements

In order to be considered for a teaching job at VipKid, you have to meet some basic requirements. VipKid’s customers rely on VipKid to provide trustworthy and qualified teachers, so if you do not meet these requirements don’t bother applying.

  • You must have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Your degree can be in any field; it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s in the field of education.
  • You need some experience teaching K-12 in the United States or Canada. VipKid does not specify how much experience though, so I can assume it doesn’t matter that much.
  • Once accepted, you have to sign a minimum 6-month renewable contract.

Here are the tech requirements:

  • You need to have a desktop or laptop; a tablet or smartphone won’t suffice.
  • Your system must run on Windows 7 or above, or MAC OS 10.8x. It must also have Intel Core i3 or above, at least 4GB RAM, the latest Flash version, and you need a wired DSL internet connection – at least 20 Mbps.
  • Your computer needs to have a camera
  • You need a good headset with a microphone.

If you’ve checked off each of these items, you should be ready for the application process!


VipKid Application Process

The application process contains five stages. Apparently it’s pretty difficult to get the job, so make sure you are well prepared!

  1. Send VipKid your resume so they can screen for basic requirements and teaching experience
  2. Schedule a 30-minute session where you get to showcase your teaching skills to a VipKid recruiter, or record a demo lesson at your own time and send it to VipKid so they can evaluate you.
  3. Watch videos to learn more about VipKid – their technology, standards, and curriculum.
  4. This is where it starts to get real! Practice teaching a full-length class with another VipKid teacher.
  5. If you get to step 5, congrats! This is where you sign the contract, upload some docs, and complete a background check.
  6. Now that you’re an official VipKid teacher, you can start scheduling when you’re available. You have to schedule at least two weeks in advance, and if you have to cancel a session, you have to let VipKid know at least two weeks in advance (this is a deal-breaker for many).

How Much Does VipKid Pay?

VipKid pays $7-9 per 30-minute teaching session, and offers several incentives. Your base pay rate will be determined by your demo class performance (ooh, the pressure!), and your incentives by your monthly class participation and completion.

Here’s a handy chart which shows a breakdown of the payments:

VipKid payments chart

Teachers get paid via direct deposit, sometime between the 10th and 15th of the month. Once your 6-month contract is up, VipKid may consider you for a raise.

As for taxes, VipKid teachers are independent contractors and therefore responsible for their own taxes.

VipKid Complaints

No job is perfect, even one where you can essentially decide your hours, work from home, and even make a full-time income. VipKid is all of those, but there are still some valid teacher complaints you should be aware of before you get started.

The peak hours are at inconvenient times

Since you’ll be teaching kids from across the globe in real-time, you can imagine your schedule may have to get shuffled around considerably.

The peak hours in Beijing time are Monday-Friday 6-10pm, and Saturday-Sunday 9am–10pm. Here’s a handy chart I made to help you see what these times are in United States time zones.

VipKid Peak Hours Chart

VipKid Peak Hours Chart

It can be an unreliable source of income

You do not have set hours at VipKid, and therefore won’t always have work available. This means some days or weeks will be slow, while others may be pretty full. Due to this, you may want to look into other income opportunities to help make ends meet. Having multiple sources of income is always a good idea anyway.

Poor communication

After each lesson, parents can leave a review. And since a lot of them don’t speak English, the review has to be translated and it can get confusing. And according to some former VipKid teachers, the parents are able to leave negative reviews without any justification.

Slow support system

One complaint that comes up a lot is the slow support system. Should you need a hand with something from the company, it may take a while before you hear anything back.

VipKid’s acceptance rate is lower than Cornell University’s

According to a comment on this VipKid review, the company only accepts 10% of the people they interview:

VipKid acceptance rate comment

Compare that to Cornell University – an ivy league school with an acceptance rate of 14%!

In other words, it’s extremely tough to get a teaching job at VipKid. But if you do get selected, it’s an accomplishment to be proud of!

VipKid teacher complaints

Here are a few more concerning complaints you’ll want to be aware of before applying:

VipKid complaint 1

VipKid negative review

VipKid negative experience

VipKid negative complaint

Despite these negative reviews, VipKid has an overall positive rating online, and a lot of people have been quite successful with it.

With that said, you cannot simply ignore the negative reviews, of which there are plenty.

Alternatively, since you are presumably a teacher or interested in teaching, you might want to look into creating and selling your own online course about a topic you are good at. To do that, you’ll need to find a good course-creation platform. Here’s my list of the best online course platforms.

Final Thoughts – Is VipKid a Scam or Legitimate?

Despite the numerous complaints, VipKid is a legitimate company.

There are definitely some glaring problems with it though, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons yourself before you start.

Some of the pros of working at VipKid are:

  • You can work from home
  • You can set your own schedule (at least more so than with a regular 9 to 5 job)
  • You get to teach kids English!

I am not convinced the pros outweigh the many cons though.

Otherwise, if VipKid sounds like a great fit for you and you’re ready to start, feel free to click the button below which will take you straight to VipKid:


I hope you found my VipKid review to be helpful. Do you have any comments or questions? Would you like to share your experience with VipKid? Feel free to leave a comment below!

54 thoughts on “Is VipKid a Scam? My Honest Review”

  1. Oh Cindy BE CAREFUL and BEWARE!!!!
    I worked for VIPPKID for 6 years and finally quit. The person who has the blog is right about the 2 week cancellation but she left out the part that THEY STILL TAKE MONEY OUT OF YOUR CHECK IF YOU CANCELL IN ADVANCE. Oh let’s not forget that if you have been working there and have a nice set of students 25-40 classes per week, then miss a class. Then the Chinese teachers who are employees and representatives of VIPKID will put you at the bottom of the list as if you were just a newbie ant then you will be lucky if you get 5-10 bookings a week for the next 3-4 weeks. How Rude! Also, VIPKID puts in your contract that the contract is per your STATE contract. In Washington State it clearly states that you cannot take any money out of future wages. When VIPKID takes out the $10.00 for a $8.00 class that was missed for any reason. THat is against the law. But they don’t think that law applies to you. Also, when the Chinese teachers start messing with your bookings that makes you an employee not a 1099 contracted person and that violates federal and US Tax laws.
    VIPKid also has this program that is called the Jump program that means you buy gems with your tokens and they can charge what ever rate for the gems. It varies per teacher. (unfair) Then these power book you. However, a parent will book the class collect the gem for what ever the prize be,( lower class costs, toys for the student, ect.) then schedule with another teacher. Now you are out your power booking, gem and money. Sucks right. When informed of what was going on VIPKID said ” I will turn it over to the relavant department” They always say that. American translation. I am not going to deal with this because we don’t have a “relevant” department.
    VIPKID has been caught in lies but it is always the teachers fault. If they tell you take more classes or go to more workshops for more bookings they are lying. Trust me. When they were small and starting out for the first couple of years they were honest. Now they think they are big shots and teachers are leaving left and right. A lot has to do with they won’t give teachers raises so don’t say I didn’t tell you. And if you were there with them at the beginning they are finding ways to terminate your contract. I just left because I had better things to do. I will say this. The kids I had were wonderful. The administration leaves a lot to be desired. They are the only online company that takes money out of teacher pay. They are tho only company that does not give teachers regular pay increase and they are by far some of the worst staff in admin to work with. I have been there for 6 years and I can honestly say that they do need to work a lot better on supporting American teachers. They will tell you that you have to respect Chinese culture but it is not refelcted back to teachers. You will see a huge difference in Chinese employment practices versus American employment practices. All I can say on that is that if an American employer tried some of the stunts that VIPKID has done to several of their teachers employers would be in a world of hurt.

  2. Thanks for all the comments. I was wondering how to pay taxes on the income. Is there a 1099 form from the company?

    • Yes, there is a 1099 form that is sent to you in January but you will fill out a I-9 in your application process. Every person’s tax situation is different so it is recommended to talk to a tax guy to figure out your situation.

      I was told (by a licensed CPA) that I have to fill out a “1040-es” 4x a year and send in my 30% quarterlies. However, I think I am getting a lot of that back in my refund.

      My story: I am married with no kids and my wife and I were in the $50-75K range last year. The tax guy I talked to told me to withhold 30% (25% fed, 5% Mississippi State tax). I recommend talking to a tax guy to make sure but if you do VIPKID as a side job and have a regular income job, you might be able to up your withholding amount with your regular employer so that you would not have to send in your quarterlies manually. In other words, you make money with VIPKID and a school district, you can possibly get the district to take “more” out of checks to help cover your taxes. By doing this, you would not have to take the money out from your VIPKID monies.

      Again, talk with a trusted tax guy because every situation is different.

  3. Sorry guys, this is going to be a long one.
    I’ve recently made it through the hiring process, and now that I’m on the teacher side of it, the site seems less like a scam than it does from the outside, where all you get to see is the company talking itself up. From the inside, you see that it’s a lot like Uber for English teaching — you sign on as an independent contractor, they provide the platform for finding students and for teaching (as well as the curriculum/slides that you teach), and all you have to provide is your car (which in this case is your computer) and the driver (you — the engaging teacher). The only aspect that can seem sketchy is that if you miss an appointment, you have to pay a penalty to VIPKID, but this is pretty clearly not their racket, since they make more for the lesson if you /do/ show up; it exists as a consequence because no-shows look bad for their company. As long as you are careful about keeping your appointments, you won’t have to pay up.
    The only caveats I would add are 1) there are a lot of teachers on the site, because it makes better sense for the company to have too many teachers than too few, so making real money can take some time, while you build up your regulars, and 2) make sure you have an ipad or mac/pc computer. I made it all the way through the interview process on my chromebook, investing in the recommended hardware, only to find out after hiring that the platform is no longer Chrome compatible. I was able to get ahold of an ipad for cheap, but lost $30-$50 on equipment for the Chromebook.
    As for the interview process, I made it through both the demo lesson and the mock class on the first attempt, and while I do have a teaching degree, I don’t have a ton of in-class experience, so I don’t think it’s impossible for you, either, with a little work. You don’t need to have a teaching degree or classroom experience, but you do need a bachelors degree and a minimum of 3 years of experience working with children. “Working with” is relative though, and I believe that it can include babysitting jobs, or even raising your own kids. They’ve changed their application process, so you no longer send in a resume. Now, you take five minutes to check boxes that tell them if you’re qualified; I hear, though, that they’ll reject you if you check a box indicating less than 3 years with kids. I don’t think stretching this is a real problem, but if you have very little to no experience with kids, this may not be the job for you.
    If you’ve decided to apply, I’d say that you should worry more about the demo lesson than the mock interview. They provide a ton of resources, videos, and a class to prepare you for the mock lesson, in which they explain their expectations and assessment rubric in detail. Plus, you can do it until they feel that you’re up to their standards. The demo, however, is tougher because its a cold interview, and you can only make a few attempts before they reject you (though a friend, and my Recommending Teacher, did this a few times with different emails until she got accepted). Find a clean white wall that you can light well for the demo, with either natural light, white light, or both. This doesn’t have to be the spot where you’re going to teach, though. I sat on the floor of my living room, in a corner. For the mock class-interview they’ll want to see a variety of props, but all I needed for the demo lesson was my dollar store white board. My recommending teacher sent me some print-outs that I taped to the wall behind me, for the classroom aesthetic. And she sent me some cut-outs that I was ready to use as props if I needed them. My recommending teacher went through a slightly different process than I did, only a few weeks later, so as far as I know, my experience is the current one. They give you three slides; one for you to demonstrate a set of concepts (with easy to remember TPR to correspond with the concepts), one to practice the concept with the student (I went over the concepts again then asked the student a comprehension question that could be answered from what I had just said), and one “quiz” to let them show comprehension, on which all you have to do is ask the comprehension question. This follows the “I do, we do, you do” model of scaffolding that they want to see.
    If you want me to share any additional details or resources to help you through this process, or if you want to ask any questions, feel free to put me down as you recommending teacher by putting in my code (DYLAN0042) on the sign up page. Once you’ve done that, send me an email at TeacherDylan[at] Yes, I get a bonus if you’re hired, but that gives me every reason to help you actually get hired, so I’ll do everything I can to help you through, and explain the small stuff that confused me on my way through, that didn’t matter enough to explain here.

  4. VIPkid is definitely not a scam. It is a legitimate online job opportunity for those who enjoy children and have experience teaching, either professionally or even homeschooling. They do prefer those with a higher education (I have a Master’s degree although not in teaching) but I homeschooled for 5 years, taught Sunday school for 8 years and have 5 children. Therefore, they are not strict about needing a teaching certificate. You do have to pass several fairly difficult tests and video teaching classes. Once passed, you start learning as much as possible and building your student base. It’s not easy, what job is? At first I felt overwhelmed with all of the information and I was getting conflicting information from many different online coaches and workshops. I went to the dollar store daily to get my own props, this is the most fun part of the class for the kids. I felt like I was spending more than I was making!However, once you get in a groove and figure out your own style (don’t look at you tube videos; it’s like looking at Pinterest and will make you doubt everything you’re doing) you begin to enjoy it. I live in the Western Mountain Time Zone so the hours are hard. Tomorrow I have a 3:30 am class so I’ll be getting up at 2:45 am. However, I can get the kids off to school and then go back to bed. I’ve only been teaching for about 2 months but my paychecks are increasing. My first was a little over $500 and the second will be about $700. Every little bit helps when we’re trying to raise our kids and help with college tuition. I honestly enjoy these cute little kids. Even the ones that can be a handful are endearing. I admire their parents for wanting what is best for their children and it is interesting to get a peak into life in China.

  5. I’m still pretty new to VIPKid — just passed the 2 month mark. Right now I teach 3-4 class/day at a lower than average base pay (I did not pass my first mock class, which was considered, and my teaching experience is of the one-on-one live tutor and homeschool variety). Still, though, I earned over $600 my first full month, which is enough to pay my office rent to keep my primary business going, and to put food on the table. I’m uncomfortable with the company’s policies in that they are rigid. But they are predictable. Everything is spelled out in detail in the contract. You aren’t an employee; you’re a contractor, which can be a new world for people used to working for employers who provide things like benefits. Also, I did not have to pay any fees to get hired or get bookings. I passed my mock class for levels 2 and 3 the second time I took it.

    Here’s what I love about VIPKid: 1. There is a culture of teachers and a wealth of experience available to the newbie. There are facebook groups for every kind of teacher. I’m in a group of VIPKid teachers over 50, and one for online teachers with disabilities, and another for introverts who teach online.

    2. Workshops are free, and they’re good professional growth. I’ve learned so much about teaching, about producing high quality video content, and about marketing myself — all from the free workshops. I’ve learned skills that will transfer to other aspects of my business or to other jobs they do. And I’ve learned a little about Chinese culture and language (more to come!).

    3. There is a lot of room to be creative and provide supplementary content to the basic lessons provided. Teachers are expected to adjust the lesson to fit the student, and that leaves a lot of room for all kinds of supplementary material.

    4. VIPKid is fun for the student. Teachers provide incentive and rewards to students throughout the lesson, and the culture of positivity and high energy is mostly about bringing that to the student to make bridge the distance created by being online. Also, for some students, VIPKid is the most fun thing that they do during the week and they really look forward to it.

    5. This should have been first: the students. I’m already developing regular students I care about, who send me little digital hearts that show up when they like what I’m doing with them. I reward them with stars, they reward me with giggles and engagement, and it’s exciting to see them grow in confidence.

    Sure, there are things I don’t like about it, but there are things I don’t like about most jobs I’ve had. With incentive pay ($1 per class for showing up on time; another $1 per class if you teach over 45 in a month), I make an average of $18/hour, just a little less than my in-person tutoring fee.

    My name is Virginia, my company is Lore Holistic Tutoring, and I approve this message. 🙂

  6. The amount of conflicting info is astounding! I know two people personally who teach for VIPKid and were very honest about the pros and cons. It seems LOTS have changed in the past few months. The obvious cons are the time difference (which could be a plus depending on your schedule), and the intense hiring process. I have a Bachelors and have taught for over 22 years. I passed the interview ($8.50 base pay) and Mock 1 (Levels 2 and 3) fairly easily. It can seem overwhelming because there’s a lot to cover in a lesson and it’s hard to know what to do and not do. The verbal feedback from the Mock was identical to the written I received less than 24 hours later in the email. I did watch several YouTube videos, reviewed much of their materials, and attended a coaching session (all unpaid). I tend to be a bit extra like that :). I have spent maybe $5 on Dollar Tree background stuff and printed out some props. Since I am a teacher and have two kids, I pulled some of those things to use if needed (dry erase board, baby doll, puppet, etc.). I am in the process of waiting on the background check and submitting info. I took the VIPKid TOFEL quizzes today and passed even though it isn’t required if your have a teaching certificate. Uploading my intro video today…and then I guess we will see. Since it’s summer, I have a bit of time and don’t mind the continuing education–it’s mostly been fun. This all would have been a little harder to complete during the school year. My former co-worker who is a VIPKid teacher swears the actual teaching is MUCH simpler and fun than the interview process. Guess we will find out.

      • I am beginning this process with 17 years of teaching experience (K-5), a gifted endorsement with my teaching certificate, and really want to know if this is something I could easily do during the summer and during the school year. I have heard both pros and cons but I am curious enough to try it out. Any feedback???

        • If you’ve read all about the company, including the many reviews posted here in the comment section by current VipKid teachers, you should have a good idea as to whether this is something you’d like to do. I don’t know your situation, but since you’re curious to try it out, I’d say go for it!

    • I’ve been with VIPKid for 4 months and I love it. Some points in this article I might push back on:

      1. “It’s hard to get hired.”
      Nonsense. If you can work legally in the US or Canada, have a BA (in anything) and have a year of some form of ESL teaching experience (pretty sure they don’t bother to check)… and you aren’t an ogre around kids then you have an outstanding shot. Most people I ‘be referred who don’t make it through just quit part way through the process. Many (most?) people fail their “mock class” after the interview, but you can take it as many times as you want. Set aside maybe 3 days of time to get through the prep and paperwork and if you meet the basic criteria you should have a better than even shot at landing an awesome gig.

      2. “The hours are bad”. Depends on where you live. I’m based in Spain (something I can do thanks to VIPKid) and speak hours are in the middle of the day. Awesome!


      3. Honestly the hardest part is getting booking for the first 2 months, but guys have an advantage as a niche group being only a out 7% of VIPKid hires. My bookings have been pretty solid since my second week, except during the predictable lull from mid June to mid August.

      I love the flexibility of this job (I can choose my own hours and live anywhere), and I’ve been a bit dumbfounded by all of the skepticism. I got through the hiring process in about a week and have already successfully referred a couple of people.

      4. I suspect VIPKid has changed a lot (and learned a lot of lessons) since they first launched and no doubt I’ve had a different experience and have benefitted from the lessons they have learned.

  7. hi!! I am new to vipkid. the hiring process was not simple, but nor should it be. I would be worried if every Tom, Dick and Harry were hired. No company is perfect. I am fully aware of the hours, I am fully aware of my pay and when someone books me I do get a notification. I can make myself available for short notice class-meaning parents can book me within an hour if I know I am home or available. It is a positive culture- but what is wrong with that? Jeez, some of you must be really jaded. Anyway, I have been attending workshops and they do help. No, you are not paid for attending workshops. You are an independent contractor and you are competing with other people. You must sell yourself- but the company offers these free workshops to help you market yourself to the parents who pick you. I may not be cranking out hundreds of classes but at least I am getting paid from the comfort of my own home, helping a child in China learn to use English. I use my kids toys as props, aside from a white board I picked up at the dollar store. If you invest more thats up to you. No one sells you a dream, you have to make your own dream come true. Personally for those who are negative on here, there is a reason you weren’t hired or didn’t do well.

  8. I am on my third contract with VIPKID and I love my job and I LOVE the kids and their families despite the insane hours, since I am on the West Coast. I did get hired before there were so many hoops and it did take me a few months to have a full schedule during the best hours for me. I have never had a problem getting paid. I open the days and hours that suit me and take off when I need to. I started at the high end of their pay scale and teach around 30-40 classes per week. It is an incredibly fun and rewarding job! The relationships with the kids and their families are precious and I am getting to do what I love. I have a degree in English, I love words, writing, language and children so for me, it is a dream job. On top of that, I really didn’t think I would ever get a chance to do something like this after I became paralyzed, so I am thrilled! I do think it is an adjustment for former classroom teachers. This is really a tutoring job so it could be frustrating for someone who wants something meatier. However, there is teaching going on and you truly experience the joy of making a difference in a child’s life. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, you should go for it!

    • Thank you ! the last 2 sentences are very touching. I’m a VIPKID parent in China , my mom was a teacher too , so I fully agree with you that teaching is not a easy job but it does change a child’s life.
      I feel sorry for the bad experience that some teachers met, actually that’s why I read this page. someday I was suddenly curious how teachers feel about this company, so I google it (via vpn for sure … ) , and get me here. I’m sure there’re a lot for vipkid to improve , like the stability of their platform and their policy to teachers. Just let you know that cross-geo ESL teaching is a very competitive market here in China, so teacher do have other options 😉
      I (and my little one) have the luck to book classes of some really good teachers, and I find they have something in common, that is to attract kid and let them learn in fun. sounds simple but we all know it’s a damn hard thing. sometimes I thought i was in a very serious conversation with my kid, but she just walked away to play with a bug passing by … I notice these teachers put lots of thoughts on how to keep kids focusing , really respect all their efforts. no matter the purpose is to make more money or to enjoy the teaching , they achieve the same goal , teach knowledge and change a child’s life.
      So thank you all , ESL teachers in U.S .

  9. My hunch on the “next step” was accurate. I just received an email (the very same one I received before) congratulating me on the best news! I get to do ANOTHER mock class.

    I do actually know two people who work for VIPKIDS. However, they were hired before the big influx of teachers last year, and overall decline in number of students. I’ve taught with these two friends for years, and they are stunned at the changes in the hiring process.

    I have over twenty-five years of teaching, group tutoring, and one on one tutoring experience in all grade levels in a variety of subjects. I understand following objectives, standards, goals, retention, and extension of lessons. I understand following scripted lesson plans. This process with VIPKIDS is extremely demoralizing and for no good reason. I do not feel they “screen for the best of the best.” I feel that it is a numbers and input/output game completely reliant on supply/demand for teachers (hint: right now, the supply is far greater than the demand).

  10. I completed the Mock 2 class. Please understand that this is really, for all intents and purposes, the THIRD interview. However at your first interview, you are offered the contract, pay level and “hired.” This is very misleading, because you do not find out at the first interview that you are not truly “hired.” Please note, that in the past six months, VIPKIDS hiring process and demo instructional materials have changed THREE times.

    I have spent over 40 hours preparing in the past six days. I’ve watched all of their training videos and supplemental videos and downloaded all materials. In addition, I made reward systems, learning tools, gathered and purchased props. All of the training is unpaid and on your time.

    Also, please be aware, that some of the videos and training contradict what the “mentors” are grading on how you should teach each slide. You can follow their IPAED to perfection per slide, and the mentor (depending on whom you have) will grade you down for not using an extension activity (E) on an introductory slide (I). Other contradictions include introducing yourself and asking the student for his/her name. Apparently, none of the training materials have this in the correct order.

    This last interview, the mentor’s microphone was of low quality and I did tell her she sounded fuzzy. Since she played the role of the child, it was impossible to tell if she was intentionally pronouncing some of the key words incorrectly (which she did and later informed me), and she noted I did not correct her mispronunciations. I chose to not remind her of the fact her microphone was not clear and there was a delay from her end.

    This second Mock class made me more certain that the teacher/mentors doing the interviews are probably not eager to have more teachers hired who would then dip into the dwindling supply of students. I believe that this is a real motive for downgrading so many experienced and qualified applicants. I am amazed at this process and I have spent some time researching the company and ESL classes online in general. For now, I believe that ESL online is a saturated market both in terms of companies and teachers (many of whom launch channels and websites with coaching services to supplement the income of teaching online). That too is probably quickly becoming another saturated market. It is also possible that this format of learning English is not giving students the proper tools to master the language.

    I will wait to hear back from today’s interview. However, I’m pretty sure the “next step” will be more videos, downloaded materials, seminars, and possibly a small fee to get me hired or the opportunity to purchase some “swag.” There are portions of this process with VIPKIDS that remind me of multi-level marketing companies.

    • Thank you so much for this incredibly well-written and detailed description of the process you are going through! A couple of VIPKids teachers whose blogs I read got hired a few years ago BEFORE this process got so complicated. So this much more complex, detailed process of training for NO PAY is really making me reconsider this option. Your comments have been SO HELPFUL. If I do proceed with trying to be hired, at least I know what I am getting into.

  11. Currently, I’m involved in my second round of Mock2/3 cla sses. From what I’ve been told by other teachers with VIPKID that I personally know, the process to be hired became tedious, lengthy, and disorganized around a year and a half ago. That is when most of the interviewees were categorized to teach not one, but two mock classes at the very least. If the company is growing with more demand than supply, this ought not to be the case.

    I felt my first mock class went very smoothly and I fulfilled all goals and expectations, and the interviewer stated this. I had been warned that they would try to find a mispronunciation phonetically. The problem is when teaching phonics, there are several consanants where teachers can make slight alterations depending on the age of the student to get the individual letter sound down before blending. “R” is one of these. Typically, in the U.S., we focus on sounding out “r” in isolation as “run” if working on the letter as the beginning sound. If “r” comes at the end of a word, we make the sound “er.” The interviewer marked me down for this.

    Overall, her comments after the class were very encouraging, and made me feel like I had been hired. Hours later, Ireceive a congratulatory letter informing me I would be retaking the Mock 2/3 class. Also noted, the writing style of most of the letter was for mass publication with only a few comments from the interviewer that looked as if they had come from a selection grid. The last parts of the letter contradicted the first parts. It made for a very confusing read.

    During my mock class, I saw the VIPKID teacher/mentor taking notes and possibly filling out a form. I believe much of the process relies on forms than an actual delivery of the mock class. I could be wrong, but I believe the system is in place to funnel almost everyone through many rounds of mock classes, workshops, and material presentations.

    Teacher mentors do make extra money per mock class. However, I did wonder how it would benefit current teacher mentors in the long term if the supply of teachers continues to grow faster than the demand. The supply of students must numerically be at least as ten times the strength as the supply of teachers. Would it really be in the best interest of the teacher mentor to add another teacher to the list who could possibly cut in to his/her very own supply of students? What is there incentive to pass a new recruit on the mock class?

  12. VIP KID is a scam. The comments here are mostly fake. How do I know this? Because VIP KID probably employ the services of a Water Army company.

    These companies in turn employ hundreds of staff, usually young women, to write fake reviews, fake blog comments, fake cheerleading about any product or service and then flood the internet with it.

    There is no doubt in my mind that VIP KID employs these companies to do a massive round of fake reviews. This is how China operates.

    How do I know? I lived there for many years and I taught English to a well-known Water Army company in Shanghai.

    VIP KID is currently aiming at The Philippines for ESL teachers. Why? Because they are CHEAP.

    Online teaching is a race to the bottom in terms of money and the whole industry will implode in a couple of years. There are far too many companies competing against each other and they are mostly all Chinese. And the one priority for Chinese companies is to source the cheapest staff they can get.

    Have fun!

    • I have to disagree. I know for a fact that there are many people successfully teaching with VIPKID who enjoy the work. And I guess only time will tell if your comments about the longevity of online teaching are true.

      • I have worked for VIPKID for nearly two years. I have been paid exactly what I was promised and on time. I have no trouble filling in my schedule and I only work the hours I can work. I love my students and have met some wonderful people. The job is very easy and much less prep than my brick-and-mortar teaching job. I do not have a super bubbly personality and do not fit the VIPKID stereotype, yet I have a 100% five-star rating and have to turn away students because I don’t have enough hours available. I do not have to book two weeks out. I only do so when I am able (in the case of uncertain plans.) Their cancellation policy is strict, but other than that and the hours (which can’t be helped) I am very, very happy with VIPKID. It isn’t for everyone, however. I am glad that I am in the percentage that enjoys working for the company-it is a great fit for me. I have developed professionally since I began working for them because they encourage it. They offer workshops and one-on-one sessions with mentors (for free.) Teachers are notorious for not being teachable themselves, and I believe many teachers’ complaints stem from a lack of humility and willingness to admit that maybe their way isn’t the only way. I was hired at another company that had a very strict minimum time/hour that you had to be available (and for half the pay.) I had to quit just as I got started because I couldn’t commit to their schedule. At least with VIPKID I have freedom to teach one class or 150 classes a week-whatever I choose. I just have to make sure that when I book a class I do not cancel it unless absolutely necessary. It’s a great side gig.

    • Thank you so much for this incredibly well-written and detailed description of the process you are going through! A couple of VIPKids teachers whose blogs I read got hired a few years ago BEFORE this process got so complicated. So this much more complex, detailed process of training for NO PAY is really making me reconsider this option. Your comments have been SO HELPFUL. If I do proceed with trying to be hired, at least I know what I am getting into.

    • Interesting facts! I’m having some problems with them mentally abusing me in the U.S.A right now due to a miscommunication about the contract and with their U.S. Federal Government of China. Nothing ever seems to virtually get solved at VIPKID. Have you heard of them abusing people due to miscommunications before? Thanks in advance.

  13. This is going to be a long comment, but I think it’s about time certain honest things were said about VIP. They are not a bad company, but it only works for some people. If I had known what I know now about them, I probably would have still applied, but I would have dropped out sooner. I currently have a contract with them, but will not be scheduling any more classes with them. I’ll just let the contract run out and go on with my life.
    First of all, the company is changing and it’s true that requirements can change, even as you are going through the hiring process. My qualifications are similar to Hannah’s, as has also been my experience with them. In my case, it took two months to complete the hiring process and then I was only considered qualified for one level.
    I would have to go through another whole training program to teach any other levels. I am just not willing to spend any more time on their program. I got hired to teach in Korea in less time than this and it included an FBI background check and an apostile letter.
    The reason you don’t see many negative reviews is that there is a culture of positivity that makes it hard to have a clear picture of how things work. They do give good pointers. I learned something from every mentor. However, I think it would be better if they gave an honest overview and focused on key points that help fulfill VIP expectations.
    Jose commented last year that all the positive reviews seem fake. I wouldn’t say they are fake. It’s that culture of positivity which makes it seem like everything is all rosy unless you read between the lines.
    They are masters at putting a positive spin on everything. If you look at the reviews here where they break down the pros and cons of VIP, you will notice that some of the pros seem like they should be listed as cons. They are trying to make it sound nice.
    That’s pretty much how the reviews for your mock classes will look. These are the classes where you have to pretend to teach a student with the mentor pretending to be a child. You need to pass these to get certified to teach each level, even though they have already given you a contract.
    The verbal review of your mock class will sound really positive, but the written review is where you can see the contradiction. Most of mine were a full page of pros and a full page of cons. I found it humiliating.
    Any qualified teacher knows that you don’t criticize every little thing about a student. You focus on what’s important. Give positive encouragement. And make sure if they improve on the things you’ve noted they will succeed. In the case of VIP kids, a balance between negative and positive feedback could be a pass or no pass. Yes, the mentor reviews are can be mind numbing.
    It’s important to note that every person you deal with who is not salaried; referral teachers, mentors, and any foreigners involved in the hiring process is working on a bonus system. So, a lot of people make bonuses whether you get hired or not. The mentors are going to get paid for all those no/passes and you can bet they have a quota.
    Notice the review that compares VIP hiring rate to Cornell University (one of the top universities in the US). Does VIP think they are really that good?
    It does work for some people. If you pass the mock classes fairly easily, then you will probably be happy working at VIP. In my opinion, despite the rigorous certification process, they are looking for bubbly personalities and people who fit in with their rigid teaching style. However, for me, I regret spending so much time and effort on a company that is clearly not interested in seeing me succeed.

  14. this was my experience:

    Although I would love to be able to teach, the amount of work I have done and money I have spent to prepare for each interview and certification has been significant. I spent time and put forth effort on interviews, demos, my profile all of the road map workshops and more. By the time I was opening my classes, requirements for certification for level 2 and trial classes started to change and I was informed I would need to go through certification again to be able to teach. At that point I still had more work and more obstacles and no pay or compensation. Ultimately I have decided this is not worth the pay or incentives.

    Throughout my experience with VIPKID I have found the company interesting and the idea wonderful. I am glad it is proving successful. However, there have been many glitches and errors along the way in dealing with, responses to tickets, and the teachers that provide interviews and workshops.

  15. I tried teaching with VIP Kid about a year ago because I had two friends who were doing it full time. The problem was that they had started working for VIP Kid before the company grew exponentially, freaked out about what kind of training their teachers should have and started changing training requirements constantly. I have a B.A., MFA, and an on-site 120 hour TEFL certificate through Trinity-Cambridge (not Joe-Bob’s online TEFL site, I also have over ten years’ EFL/ESL teaching experience and I wasn’t eligible to start regularly scheduling classes until I had jumped through all of their certification hoops (which changed twice in the month I started working for them), which would not be training I could take with me into another job. For me it really wasn’t worth the grief when I have already been teaching for so long and was well qualified.

  16. I am baffled by the wide variety of experiences in regards to the way VIPKids handles policies, their reliability, etc. I’ve heard so many different and, sometimes, even contradictory criteria for getting hired that there’s no way to really know what to do. It seems as if teachers with real-world ESL teaching experience and a solid understanding of brain research and learning styles to be an effective educator are overlooked in favor of someone who will just tell the kids they made a mistake, move right on, without a reteach or checking for understanding and “teach” ~25 slides in 25 minutes, with no more than 30 seconds in variation! And that’s for the pre-hire eval where they’re, supposedly, unrelenting and unreasonably critical. It’s also been confusing as to what they really want to see at the evals. Some current teachers have a list of things you need to equip yourself with for the interviews yet, some who claim to be successful have had nothing at all. It’s like they have no real criteria for who makes the cut. It makes me hesitant to spend even $2 at Dollar Tree to get a couple of props, much less $30+ for a decent headset and moving all my furniture around so I can have a blank wall to turn into a pre-k classroom before I even get hired. I’m not even sure this is worth it, despite my passion for the job. Can anybody change my mind?

    • No need to move your furniture! You can hang a sheet behind you. You can use manycam to create a background behind you. You can use a poster board display behind you. You can teach from your bathroom with the shower curtain behind you. No need to spend any money on props! I have taught for VIPKid for 3 years and have never spent a penny on props and never will. Why spend my money on props?! I have paper. I have pens. For my interview I wrote the letters I was teaching on a piece of paper and held these up. No money spent. I also drew simple …..very simple pictures to hold up. You do not need to spend any money. You do not need to rearrange your home. You do not need a pricey headset! You know the free earbuds one gets in a hotel’s exercise room? That is all I have ever used. I have always been paid ontime. I have taken time off whenever I wish to. I have canceled classes last minute (son went to hospital) and was not charged by the company (yes, I did have to send a note that stated a date and name and hospital visit. All other information I covered and did not share.) Also this class being canceled did not count against me. If you cancel class because you wish to sleep in then yes you are charged because as a professional contract worker you need to be just that, professional and not cancel without a valid reason. I have also helped others get a job with vipkid and they applied and were hired and actually teaching within a week for several; within 2 weeks for others. Do I agree with all they do? Of course not. Could the application/hiring process be better. Yes, for sure. Would I recommend the company? Yes, it is still ideal for many. Don’t spend any money for it! Don’t try to be like the actors/actresses who are beyond lively. Do be yourself! The parents want to see real people. I am a very relaxed teacher who does not present a show. This has fully supported my kids and I for almost 3 years and we live in a very expensive part of CO. We travel often. We live not extravagantly, but quite well. Do not spend money to get this or any job!

  17. Totally legit – I am a real estate agent and when I asked one of my clients what she does for a living she told me she makes around 2K from working with VIPKIDS and encouraged me to join. I haven’t gotten round to it yet as I still need to submit the video, but definitely plan to go ahead with it.

  18. FYI
    China’s VIPKid is finalizing a deal to raise about $500 million at a valuation of more than $3 billion.

    VIPKid reported a near six-fold jump in ‘cash sales’ to 3.54 billion yuan in 2017, including multi-year contracts, based on presentation materials for investors obtained by Bloomberg News. Chief Executive Officer Cindy Mi told Bloomberg in September her company should rake in revenue of 5 billion yuan or about $750 million in 2017. A VIPKid spokesman declined to comment on the fundraising but said the company’s cash sales for the fiscal year ended March was about 5 billion yuan.

  19. VIPKID is a perfect fit for me. I am on my third contract. I had no coach/friend to help me get hired and I got hired to teach right away… although I highly suggest a friend/coach… my referrals make more than me 😉 I typically teach 30 classes per month depending on my personal schedule and make more than $1000 per month consistently for a year. Love the kiddos!

    Several of the things mentioned in the article are not correct now. The company is constantly seeking teacher feedback and they make changes to continually improve. That is one of the things I really like about the company. You do not have to set your schedule 2 weeks in advance (it is an option, but not a requirement). You are eligible for a raise after 12 months, but have to meet certain benchmarks (I got a raise!). You do not have to submit a resume, but you answer preliminary questions when you register. At the end of the class, you wave goodbye, blow kisses, whatever suits your style, then you have a few minutes between classes to start on your documentation. There is no Q & A.

    I was very concerned this was a scam when I applied, so I opened a bank account at a bank where we had no other dealings… ya know, just in case 🙂 Never a problem!

    Hope this helps if you’re considering applying. I realize it isn’t right for everyone. However, it has been more than a blessing to our family for the last 14 months. I set my own schedule, I am always fully booked by mostly regulars, and my pay is always on time and exactly what I expect it to be. Happy to help if you have questions (

    • this is not a scam at all, I have been working for vipkids for three months and it is the best thing since sliced bread its the best GOOD FEELING JOB EVER!!!!!!!!! THE STAFF IS GREAT AND THE KIDS ARE SO DAMN CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT !!!!!

  20. I have been teaching with VIPKIDS since March and it is totally legit. There have been glitches in the pay system, etc. but VIPKIDS acknowledged them and worked to overcome the problems. I believe that the rate of acceptance is higher now that they have expanded to new countries. I didn’t have a TESOL or experience teaching online but was hired without a problem. I did later get my TESOL. There are over 20,000 teachers and thousands upon thousands of teachers. I usually opt to teach about five classes a morning before I start to homeschool my kiddos. There are so many new perks to make the experience better. Now they have a phone app with notifications so I know if I have a short notice booking (short notice bookings must be allowed by the teacher too). I can totally study for my lessons now on my phone. There is another app for learning opportunities and rewards for the teachers. There is now an app for the PC and it is great. Contrary to the negative feedback above…teacher IT problems do not count against you or count as a cancellation. If you have to cancel due to illness or such you can submit proof and it is not an issue. There is a wonderful support system in place for the teachers and I have used it multiple times with moderate to excellent success. Some of these issues might have been legitimate in the past but, if so, VIPKIDS worked to resolve them. I have had a wonderful experience and recently renewed my contract for a second time. I am allowed free workshops to improve my teaching as well as free certification classes. I highly recommend VIPKIDS.

  21. This information is so helpful thank you. I have a question. I have satellite at 3 amps and a windows 10. Will this work?

  22. My biggest concern about this company is that every positive review I’ve read looks fake. Same backgrounds same theme. Well done though. Bravo.

    • Not fake at all! I have been working the company since August of 2017. I agree the company is not perfect but I have been able to work from home doing what I love to do! You should give it a try! [edited]
      Good luck to you!

  23. Hi, I enjoyed this content, would you be interested in writing for a different company? my skype is [removed for safety reasons], contact me! 🙂

  24. I have been working at VIPKID for 7 months. I make about $1500 per month working from 5:00-8:30 AM six days a week. The reviews above are not accurate. I have enjoyed my job, and it has paid off credit cards, car repairs, and gotten me caught up financially—and I make $70/day before breakfast! I enjoy my students.

    • Hi Kristie,

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Sounds like it’s working great for you. I guess everyone will have a slightly different experience and opinion. Thankfully, positive reviews seem to make up the majority. 🙂

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