Is VipKid a Scam? My Honest Review [Updated 2019]

Is VipKid a Scam? My Honest Review [Updated 2019]

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.


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VipKid Review

VipKid homepageCompany: VIPKID






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, like this one.

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. You might want to look into another source of online income, like this.


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. And for that reason, I would suggest you look into my number one recommendation for working from home.

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!

18 thoughts on “Is VipKid a Scam? My Honest Review [Updated 2019]”

  1. 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. 🙂

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

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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.

    • 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 !!!!!

  6. 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 (

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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