Ever since I started sharing about my experience teaching from home, I get a lot of questions regarding a VIPKID Review – Is it legit or a scam? Is it For Real!? For me, it was a life-changing job move, so allow me to answer some of your questions!
- What is VIPKID? Can you tell me more about it? Can I get more info?
- VIPKID is a virtual classroom for Chinese kids (approximately ages 3-12) to learn from native North American English speakers. The company provides premade lessons for students with varying levels of the English language. Each class is 25-28 minutes long and you (the teacher) click through the lesson slides with the student via a video chat program.
- What does the schedule look like?
- The teaching schedule is based on the the needs of the students in China. It is recommended that you make yourself available to work during the “peak times,” as this will be the busiest time of day for Chinese students, but you could choose any time slot that is listed below. You can vary your schedule each week to meet your needs. Use the provided calculator to determine what the Beijing times would be in your time zone (you can change the time from 6:00pm to whatever time you want to know). The second schedule is a sample of what I see when choosing my availability for the week (I’m in the EST time zone) The yellow blocks represent the peak times, and I usually schedule the majority of my availability here, as it ensures my schedule will fill up every week. My typical schedule right now is 4:30am-8am, Mon-Sat.
- Do you get paid? I read about someone on the internet who worked for VIPKID and never got paid?!
- This one is really is odd to me – I’m not sure who/how this happened, but YES, I always get paid. Pay day is between the 10th-15th of each month and comes via direct deposit. It pays for all of the hours I worked the previous month plus any extra bonuses/incentives. (There are usually quite a few of those!)
- What is the pay like?
- VIPKID pays $14-$22/hour, depending on your experience, education, interview success, and work ethic each month. Since it is a Chinese company, the pay is a little different than what Americans are used to. Pay starts at $7-$9/lesson. Remember, each lesson is a 30 minute time block. So, $7-9/lesson = $14-$18/hour. This is your base pay…for basically existing and doing a half-way decent job. If you are on time to your classes, $1 is added to that $7-9 base pay, which makes it $8-10/30 minutes or $16-20/hour. An additional $1 is then added if you teach at least 45 classes/month (a minimum of 22.5 hours total for the entire month). This makes it $9-11/lesson or $18-22/hour. Not showing up for classes and/or not fulfilling your requirements will result in a pay deduction! That said, if you are committed to the job, don’t let this pay process concern you – I have never made less than my $21/hour since I started in September 2016.
- Are their benefits? Insurance? How are taxes handled?
- All VIPKID teachers are classified as independent contractors. You will receive a 1099 at tax time and you are responsible for filing your own taxes. There are no benefits/health insurance. You can, however, take off any time that you need, they only request that you give them your schedule 4 weeks in advance.
- What are the requirements?
- The minimum requirements are to be a native North American English speaker (although you do not have to currently reside in North America), a Bachelor’s degree (does not have to be in education), and at least one year of teaching experience (does not have to be a formal public school teaching job). You do not have to have a teaching certificate. You do need a webcam and high speed internet….very reliable high speed internet!
- What do the lessons look like?
- The lessons are all premade, consist of approximately 25-30 slides, and are based on the student’s current level. They are meant to be very interactive so teachers find themselves singing, playing charades, drawing, and otherwise having fun with their students. Teachers are required to have at least a white board, flashcards or letter magnets, and a plushy/puppet – all of which can be purchased very inexpensively at the dollar store, or “borrowed” from your kids’ toyroom 🙂
- Can I work full time for VIPKID?
- If you want the full pay ($7-9/lesson + $2/lesson = $18-22/lesson) , you need to work a minimum of 22.5 hours/month. Anything above this is up to you. You do have to get creative with your schedule in order to get in 35-40 hours/week (overnights and/or early mornings) but if you are okay with this (and the fact that you never have to leave your house or take off your pajama pants!!) then yes, you can definitely make this your full time job. I am hearing about a lot more people who are beginning to do this, and there is great community of support from fellow teachers in the VIPKID forums! But, please keep in mind that you are never guaranteed hours – you get bookings based on how well parents/kids love you and re-book your classes. So teach a great class if you want more hours!! (I wrote some tips about keeping your schedule full in this post).
- Is there room for advancement? Raises? Bonuses?
- Occasionally VIPKID offers additional positions to teachers who have been around for awhile. Typically, these are Practicum Evaluators and Teacher Mentor positions. Contracts are for 6 months at a time, and teachers could also receive a raise when their contract is renewed, based on their performance during the previous contract period. There are also a LOT of options for bonuses and incentives; for example I have received bonuses for my 3 month anniversary, substituting, working during the holiday season, referring “amazing teachers,” and new students signing up after taking a trial class with me. Every month VIPKID seems to offer some sort of competition, bonus, or incentive program and I tend to make an additional $200/month on top of my usual class pay rate!
- What is the application process and training like?
- Fill out the basic info on the website and submit your resume. You will then select a time for an interview, which is a video chat with a VIPKID recruiter that includes a series of questions as well as a mock class to teach. This is important! The demo lesson that you teach is worth 60% of the rubric that determines your rate of pay. You can have 15 years of teaching experience and a MSEd and start at a lower pay than someone who only has 5 years of teaching and a Bachelor’s degree but did phenomenally well on their mock lesson. Be prepared for your interview/lesson!! (Go HERE to read more about the interview). Once you pass this step, there are training videos, quizzes, and readings as well as two practicums (mock classes) in order to practice and demonstrate what you have learned with another VIPKID staff member.
- I applied but didn’t hear anything from them!
- Check your Spam Folder!! Once you apply, if your application and resume meet all of the requirements, VIPKID will send you an invitation to schedule an interview. Check your spam folder!!! VIPKID emails have a huge tendency to end up in spam and applicants will miss vital, time sensitive info. Keep an eye out for both the interview invitation and the resources needed to plan your demo lesson.
Why didn’t I find out about this sooner?! How do I apply?
If you’re thinking about applying, I would LOVE for you to use my referral link. VIPKID encourages current teachers to help new teachers with the process by rewarding us with a little extra bonus each month – which in turn helps me keep this blog up and running to help other new teachers! Click HERE for my teacher referral page, and definitely let me know if you have any questions during any of the process! And who knows, it could turn out to be one of the best decisions of your life!
Already applied? Shoot VIPKID an email at email@example.com and let them know Carolyn Meadors referred you – and then Click HERE for how to Prepare for your Interview and Demo Lesson!