VIPKid (2024) – Is It Legit & Worth It?

How does teaching English to people in China and getting paid for it sound to you? This is the business model behind VIPKid. You can work from home using your internet connection and make money in your spare time.

In past years, VIPKid hired teachers from the States to tutor Chinese children, but government rules changed in 2021. Foreign teachers were forbidden to teach Chinese kids, even online, so the company pivoted and began marketing their classes to Chinese adults.

VIPKid also began offering these classes to people from other countries besides China. They changed the name of the company to VIPKid Global. If you are wondering if VIPKid is worth it, read our VIPKid Review.

What is VIPKid?

VIPKid is an online ESL program that helps students around the world learn the English language. The curriculum is provided, as are all of the materials.

All VIPKid expects their teachers to do is implement the program. All training is provided.

Many people who worked for VIPKid in the past say that it definitely is worth it. However, now that the rules have changed, it’s gotten harder to book a full schedule of students.

When you can get bookings, the pay is decent for the amount of work that is involved.

Cindy Mi started the company in China in 2013. She wanted to match Chinese students struggling to learn English with fluent English speakers.

Lessons focus on learning about culture along with language. Mi hoped that by sharing these things, citizens of the world can see one another as real people and increase their cross-cultural understanding.

Mi understands the need for one on one tutoring. After a move, Mi’s education suffered and she fell behind her classmates. Teachers had no time to help the struggling student and she eventually dropped out of high school.

Mi then built a company that offered English tutoring in-person to Chinese students, eventually growing it to a $30 million dollar business.

As Mi ran the business, she worked on her university studies, earning a Bachelors of English Literature degree from Beijing Foreign Language University.

Who is VIPKid for?

Teaching for VIPKid is not for everyone.

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree, but it can be in any subject.
  • You have to have at least two years of experience working with children.
  • You must be legally authorized to work in the United States or Canada. The company really wants to use teachers from North America.
  • You must have the correct technological requirements which are laid out on their website.

Inside the Hiring Process of VIPKid

After you have passed the initial hiring process, where your credentials are examined to ensure you have the basic requirements, you will enter a more rigorous hiring process.

The first thing that will happen is that you will record a short 20 minute demo. You can use your phone to do this, and the company will give you resources to help you create this video.

Next, if your demo is approved, you will attend a training session that will help to prepare you for the next step of the process–the mock class.

In the mock class, an adult will act like a small child and you have to “teach” the student for 10 minutes.

This sounds intimidating, but you can find sample VIP mock class videos on YouTube so that you can practice how it is going to go.

You will get feedback on your mock class teaching techniques and the company will let you know by email if you passed or failed. You can get a second chance if you fail the initial attempt.

On your second try, be sure to prepare using the tips and techniques that the company mentioned in your email.

If you pass the mock class section of the hiring process, you will then be offered a contract with VIPKid. These contracts are six months long and detail certain things that you can and cannot do when working for VIPKid.

You must stick to the curriculum and remember to avoid certain sensitive topics. Additionally, you should not exceed a certain number of cancelations per contract cycle.

Once you are approved to teach with VIPKid and you have completed their training, you can begin teaching students.

However, since the company was affected by government changes, it seems that the hiring process is stretched out, since many people report that it takes awhile to get approved.

You will want to download the VIPKid app to your tablet or iPad. You can also use a computer. You can use the app to open the time slots that are available up to 2 weeks before that day.

You get to decide how much you want to work.

Keep in mind that most of the students are overseas, and that means that you will be working during the times that work best for them.

Since there is a time zone differential, you will likely be working very early in the morning or very late at night for students based in Asia.

Before you start the class, look over the booking and check out what each student is learning. This will help you pull out any props or charts that might be helpful.

When it’s time to begin, just work through the lesson with as much enthusiasm as you can. Students really enjoy teachers who are animated and creative.

How much money can you make working for VIPKid?

How much you make depends on the number of classes that you teach. You can teach as many classes as you like, as long as you have students willing to book your classes.

However, some people are reporting that since the government crackdown on tutoring children, classes have been harder to fill in recent months.

Base pay is $7 per 25-minute class. If you book two classes an hour, you will be earning $14 an hour of base pay. However, there are also incentives that VIPKid Global offers for various tasks.

Some of these tasks might be opening more tutoring slots or watching training videos. These incentives will add to your take-home pay, which is made by direct deposit twice a month.

Is VIPKid Worth It?

VIPKid is a decent work from home option, especially for people in certain situations.

  • School teachers often use this platform to earn supplemental income during the school year and they really focus on upping their hours on it during the summer months.
  • If you like to travel and don’t want to be tied down in a “normal” job, you might find VIPKid a great option for earning money.
  • If you are an at-home parent and need just a bit of extra money to help with unexpected expenses, VIPKid might be just the option for you, since much of the time you will need to spend on it will happen while your kids are sleeping.

Pros and Cons 

Pros of VIPKid

  • With VIPKid, you can sort of set your own schedule. While much of the teaching will take place at odd times, you can decide how much or how little you want to work on any particular week.
  • You will likely enjoy getting to know your students and watching them progress in their learning. You can learn about their families and their culture while you are teaching them.
  • You can work from anyplace that has a good internet connection, meaning that you can travel all you want while working on this platform.

Cons of VIPKid

  • The time zone issue might be a problem for many people. Depending on where you live, you might be teaching in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning.
  • It takes time to get started with VIPKid. Their hiring process is rather slow since it takes time to get your paperwork processed and pass the rigorous hiring screening. Additionally, once you are hired, it may take time to build up a solid student base until you have some good reviews. You must be patient and keep working at it.
  • You can only have 6 cancellations per six-month contract, so you should use them wisely. You will be penalized $10 for every cancellation.
  • Because these classes are online, you have to bring a lot of energy to your teaching to keep students engaged. Singing, being silly, mimicry, and creativity are required to keep the students engaged. This can be tiring to keep up hour after hour.
  • Taxes. Since you are considered an independent contractor, VIPKid does not withhold taxes for you. You will need to pay your quarterly taxes and plan for this!
  • Since the government changed their rules, some teachers are struggling to fill their classes. So you might go through the entire hiring process only to have hours of empty bookings.

Praise and Criticism

Some people are still doing well with VIPKid even after all of the changes. However, many of them are long-time teachers with established client lists and certifications.

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In general though, since the changes, VIPKid bookings are spotty and may be hard to come by.

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How do you join VIPKid?

If you think that VIPKid sounds like something that you would be interested in, just visit their site at VIPKid.com

Best Alternatives to VIPKid

If you don’t think that VIPKid is exactly the right fit for you, there are other companies where you can do similar work.

Tutoringgo.com 

Tutoringgo.com is a program that is similar to VIPKid in that you work with non-English speaking students.

Most of their students are Korean and the program is already set up for you, so there’s no need to create your own lessons. The pay is similar to that of VIPKid.com

Cafetalk

Cafetalk allows you to set your own prices for tutoring, within their preset limits. These lessons are held online via Skype or Zoom and many of their students are located around the world.

Lyngo

Lyngo is a company that works exclusively with Japanese students, although you do not have to speak Japanese to tutor.

Unfortunately, the pay is rather low, only up to about $12 per hour. However, they do not have strict educational standards to apply.

If you like teaching and you can make it through their hiring process, VIPKid could very well be a good part-time gig to make some extra cash throughout the month.

However, you probably should not rely solely on VIPKid as your only income stream since it seems that the governmental changes have really hurt this business.