Are you a stay-at-home mom (or dad!) who wants a work from home job to make money online before the kids wake up – or after they go to bed? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a bit of extra cash each week? If so, check out our honest VIPKID review to find out just how to get paid to teach English online from home – it may be just the side hustle you’re looking for!
Especially when you consider that you can earn up to $22 per hour!
Of course, this has all the benefits that other work from home jobs have: you can work from anywhere in the world, so it’s great if you want to continue earning some money while you’re travelling.
You can also set your own hours…well, almost. Because you’ll be teaching kids based in China, you will have to be available at peak hours for them.
However, that’s actually kind of perfect in this case, as it means that lessons take place early in the morning or late at night.
So it’s great if you have kids and/or another job, as it’s super easy to get some extra cash this way without interrupting the rest of your schedule.
You also only have to work seven hours per week. Of course, you can work more if you want, but this makes it perfect for almost anyone, no matter how limited (or not!) your available time is.
And just in case you were wondering – no, you don’t have to be a trained teacher. In fact, it’s open to almost anyone!
Read on to see why teaching English with VIPKID could be the perfect work from home job for you.
After all, there’s a reason that Forbes ranked VIPKID as first on its 2017 “Top 100 Work from Home Companies”!
How to get paid to teach English online from home with VIPKID?
VIPKID is a company for young Chinese students to learn English online through a platform that’s kind of like Skype.
Students are taught 1:1, so you won’t be overwhelmed with a big class, and VIPKID provides you with all of the teaching materials. This means that you don’t have to spend time preparing your own lessons which, as any classroom teacher will tell you, is a huge life saver.
Each lesson is 25 minutes long, followed by a few minutes where you leave comments for the student’s family and for the next teacher. This means that there’s no time spent grading after lessons are complete.
(That sound you just heard is every classroom teacher in the world giving a sigh of relief.)
Of course, you can do multiple lessons in a row. As mentioned above though, students tend to be available at certain times that align with peak hours in China so you also need to make yourself available then:
What are the VIPKID teacher requirements?
It’s actually pretty easy to meet the criteria to be a VIPKID teacher. All you need is:
- A Bachelor’s degree in any field (so you definitely don’t have to be a trained teacher!)
- Be eligible to work in the US or Canada
- One year of “traditional teaching experience or the equivalent in mentoring, tutoring, or alternative education”
Now, don’t give up based on that last point just because you haven’t taught kids before, as VIPKIDS is really flexible on what’s included under that.
You may have coached a kids’ sports team, been a Scout leader or volunteered at a church or other community group. All of these things count.
And even if you’ve been a babysitter or even raised your own kids, that counts as experience.
Essentially, if you can link anything you’ve done in your professional or personal life to somehow supervising and broadly providing guidance to kids, you should be good to go.
(And if you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, check out Magic Ears. It’s very similar to VIPKID without the education requirements.)
You’ll also need to meet VIPKID’s tech requirements:
- Own a device (i.e. a desktop, laptop or Microsoft Surface) with a camera. Your computer can be a PC or Mac, it doesn’t matter, as long as it:
- Has at least 4GB of RAM
- Runs the latest version of Flash
- Has an Intel Core i3 above CPU.
- If you don’t know what this means – as I didn’t – Google has some great results.
- Use a headset with a microphone
- Have an internet connection of at least 20 Mbps.
- You can check your internet speed here although if it turns out that yours is a bit slow, I’d recommend trying to apply anyway as the connection could be fine, especially if you generally don’t have any issues using programs like Skype.
What’s the VIPKID interview process like?
The application process is fairly straightforward, although many people say that the interview can be pretty nervewracking.
Your application will go as follows:
- Submit your application
- Do a 30 minute interview to show your teaching skills
- Watch videos to learn about VIPKID, including the curriculum
- Do a practice lesson with a teacher
- Sign a contract (they ask you to commit for at least six months)
- And now you’re a teacher!
What’s the VIPKID salary to teach English online?
A lot of people who work for VIPKID report that those who get paid at the higher end of the scale have a Master’s degree or are trained teachers. However, if you have a couple of years of equivalent experience, there’s no reason why you can’t get close to that!
Please note that, as with most work from home jobs, you’ll be responsible for your own taxes. This means that you should get familiar with your jurisdiction’s tax laws so that you know how much to set aside each pay cycle.
A VIPKID review from an actual VIPKID teacher!
I’m happy to say that I can provide a bit of insider knowledge on VIPKID as my friend, Amy, actually teaches for them. So I asked her a few questions to see what she thinks about the whole process.
How much do you get paid to teach English online?
I earn $19 per hour, which is actually $9.50 per lesson. I’m not a teacher, but I have done some tutoring, so that definitely helped me to be “allocated” that amount.
How do they figure out the amount of your VIPKID paycheck?
They tell you during the application process. After you’ve done the interview – which was really easy, by the way – they tell you based on your experience how much they’ll pay you.
Do you have any VIPKID interview tips?
I think a great interview tip is just knowing what the process is like as I had no idea going in!
So, like I said, the interview was pretty easy. The person I spoke to just wanted to confirm everything I’d included in my application.
After that, you’ll do the mock class. I was SO nervous for that, but you get all sorts of prep materials so you know what’s expected. There are also a ton of videos on YouTube with people explaining what they had to do and giving tips on how to do well.
I must have done fine at that as after a few days, I received an email that I’d been accepted. Hooray!
They then ask you to provide some information so that they can do a background check. While that’s going through, you can make your profile with photos and a short video so that parents can learn about you when choosing teachers for their child.
And then a short while later, you’re able to start!
What are the VIPKID teacher requirements outside of actually delivering the lessons?
Nothing! I loved tutoring, but figuring out what I was going to cover in the next session would always take SO long. And you’re not paid for that time, of course. So the fact that they send me everything to use in the lessons is the best.
You do have to give comments on each student after each lesson for both the parents and the next teacher, which I try to do in the few minutes between each class. Sometimes though I might give comments for each child at the end of the entire teaching block if I’m doing a few lessons back-to-back.
What are the kids like?
Most of them are amazingly well behaved. You always have the occasional one who clearly doesn’t want to be there, but that’s inevitable in any sort of teaching or coaching role. For the most part, they’re really focused and actually really keen to improve their English skills.
I will say that some of the parents can be a bit annoying. Not all! Most are lovely and are happy to chat for a few minutes at the end of each lesson to see how their child’s going. They then give you a rating out of five apples.
But you do get the occasional low apple rating with no explanation, which can be frustrating when you think the lesson went perfectly. I also heard about someone who got a low rating because of internet connection issues at the student’s end! You can file a ticket to contest a low rating but it doesn’t always end in your favour…
That said, these are the exceptions. Most kids and their parents are great and make it really fun.
What’s your VIPKID schedule? Is there a VIPKID cancellation policy if you can’t make it?
I like to get up a couple of hours before my kids wake up and do a few classes before the chaos in my house resumes. I’m not really a morning person but it’s been pretty easy to get perky when the screen turns on with this super enthusiastic student on the other end. It’s meant that I’ve been able to earn about $1,000 per month, which is HUGELY helpful in adding to my husband’s income.
I try not to work on weekends as well so that I can be with the whole family or enjoy a drink and a movie with hubby once the kids go to bed. Luckily, the way that VIPKID is set up means that that’s never been a problem.
I think I read the other day that they have tens of thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students [Editor note: The VIPKID website says that they have 30,000+ teachers and 200,000+ students] so it doesn’t matter at all if I’m not available at certain times. There’s always someone else to work then and there are always students who need lessons in the times that I’m free.
One small downside I would add is that you have to schedule lessons two weeks in advance, so that does reduce some of the flexibility. That said, it hasn’t really affected me personally although I know of someone who got quite sick and had to miss a bunch of classes.
You can cancel six classes per six month period although you’ll be “fined” for it. That said, the more notice you give, the less your fine is.
Do you like teaching with VIPKID? Would you recommend it to others?
Definitely. The extra money is awesome and the flexibility has worked out really well with my circumstances.
But I’ve really enjoyed the work too. The fact that the kids are enthusiastic helps and the lessons are actually fun.
Another thing I’ve loved is all the Facebook groups and things with other VIPKID teachers. People are great at sharing tips and tricks to improve your teaching and it can also be good to have them when you need to vent about something. It’s pretty much become the office water cooler – well, without the office – when we need to get together and gossip.
I’ve already recommended VIPKID to some of my friends who were looking to make some money on the side. I think it’s great for anyone trying to get some extra cash, especially if you’d rather work outside of normal business hours, so would really encourage people to look into it!
To find out more and to start the application process, click here.