VIPKID Review: Can You Get Paid To Teach Online?

Teaching kids a new language can be a fun and exciting experience for both students and teachers. It can be a financially rewarding home based business opportunity for the right person while making a true difference in the world. In this review, we will take a look at VIPKID which provides an online educational platform that claims to $18-$22 per hour if you're qualified. Let's get started!

What is VIPKID?

VIPKID is an online platform that teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) to children between 4-12 years of age. Co-founders Cindy Mi, Jessie Chen, Forest Huo, and Victor Zhang started the company in 2013 in Beijing, China. The company's curriculum meets the Common Core Standards required in the United States. VIPKID lists numerous awards for its platform on its corporate website. Investors include Innovation Works, H Capital, Northern Light Venture, Matrix Partners, and Sequoia Capital.

What Do You Do As A Online ESL Teacher For VIPKID?

VIPKID provides teachers with the curriculum for teaching enrolled students. Teachers review the material at least 6-12 hours before each class. Classes are 30-minutes long. During this time, teachers present the material for 25 minutes, elicit response from the students, and then leave comments at the end. Teachers submit their time availability for classes. The company then provides a schedule each week of classes booked by students. The company has both regular and trial students.

What Are The Requirements?

VIPKID teachers must speak English as a native language and have a Bachelor's Degree. They must also have experience working with children ages 4-12 and be available to teach for at least 7.5 hours per week. Teachers will need to have a desktop or laptop computer with webcam and microphone, high speed Internet, and either a Chrome or Firefox browser. If you do not meet these qualifications, feel free to read my Top Free Work At Home Recommendation for a more suitable home based business opportunity option.

What Are The Hours?

Class schedules are based according to Beijing time, which is a 13-hour time difference from the United States. Peak hours are typically between 6-10 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m-10 p.m on the weekend. Weekday hours translate to roughly 5 a.m-9 a.m in the United States. Teachers must commit to working at least 7.5 hours per week. Teachers have the flexibility to work as much as they want during these peak times. It's possible to work beyond the peak hours, but highly unlikely due to the time difference between China and the United States.

How Much Are You Paid?

The company offers a $7-$9 base pay per 30-minute class plus bonus incentives depending on their demo class performance. If teachers teach more than 45 classes in one pay period they will receive a $1 per class bonus. Teachers also receive a $1 attendance bonus per class for showing up to teach even if a student doesn't show up to attend class. Teachers receive payments through direct bank deposits between the 10th and the 15th each month.

How Do You Get Started?

Qualified individuals submit an online application as well as a resume for consideration. There is no information on how long it takes for an application to be accepted for interview status. The company will then schedule a Skype interview and ask applicants to complete a 30 minute demo class. Applicants then watch training videos on VIPKID's curriculum, standards, and technology. The next step will be to participate in a mock class with one of the VIPKID teachers. Once all these steps are complete, applicants sign a renewable contract for a minimum 6-month timeframe.

VIPKID Complaints:

Crappy Support System: Past independent contractors report that it's extremely hard to get a hold of the company about any questions or concerns. Apparently the company doesn't always respond back in a timely manner.

Pop Goes The Weasel Tech Support: There have been a few complaints about tech support agents randomly interrupting teacher's classes with feedback.

No Smartphone or Tablet Love: According to the company's FAQ section , the online platform doesn't work with smartphones or tablets. So for those of you that don't have a laptop or desktop at this point, this is not going to work for you.

Not as “Flexible” as They Claim to Be: Teachers must submit their hours of availability to teach a month in advance. It is tough to cancel classes if you have a personal emergency. The company may penalize or fire you for doing so.

Don't Quit Your Day Job: You will only get half your base pay if you have technical difficulties. You also only get half of your base pay for trial students. It can take at least a month to get a significant amount of booked classes. There is no guarantee that a teacher will get any bookings from students. You might be better off reviewing my Top Free Work At Home Recommendation for a better home-based business opportunity.

No BBB Rating: The company does not have a profile nor accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. There is no accurate way to determine how well VIPKID handles consumer complaints or troubleshooting issues. There is also little feedback from past customers available online.

Is VIPKID Legitimate or a Scam?

Despite the complaints listed above, VIPKID appears to be a legitimate work at home opportunity. The company provides all the teaching material and student bookings. However, you must be willing to get up super early in the morning if you live in the United States. You must also meet all the teacher requirements.

I think the biggest issues with VIPKID may be that you can't really depend on this for consistent income and the scheduling isn't as flexible. So that might not appeal to folks, in which case you may want to check out my Top Free Work At Home Recommendation as well as My Work At Home Courses as alternatives. Remember, true financial freedom is best achievable through multiple streams of income.

Until next time,

Eddy with a y

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Weston - April 18, 2017 Reply

Hi, Eddy.

Thank you for your review of VIPKID! I did not know there was an opportunity like this on the internet. I think the idea is very cool! I’d even consider doing it if the pay was better and I was guaranteed students and hours needed for at least part-time work. I meet all the qualifications, but would not pursue this because I don’t have time without quitting my full-time job. I do hope VIPKID improves in the future, maybe with more people getting involved.

Thank you!


Liz - April 18, 2017 Reply

VIPKid is truly a side hustle. I actually considered working with them a while back but decided to go another route as the peak hours were basically during the night. But, it seems like a pretty legit way, and you probably will be an independent contractor under them so no taxes taken out.

gregS - April 18, 2017 Reply

Hi Eddy
I agree with you about the don’t quit your day job. So much is out of your control, but as a side gig it may be worth a look.
I had thought about traveling and teaching English, but haven’t got around to it yet. This could be a way to have a side hustle.

    Eddy Salomon - April 18, 2017 Reply

    Indeed Greg. It may be worth a try as long as you’re not depending on this for consistent and stable money.

Scott Gese - April 18, 2017 Reply

Nice review. I’ve looked at teaching ESL but didn’t realize it could be done online. How long has this company been around? It doesn’t sound like you can make a living at this, but the extra income would be good. I’m looking for a business I can do online and move around with. I might check out the alternative you offer in your review.

    Eddy Salomon - April 18, 2017 Reply

    Thanks. As mentioned above it was started in 2013. I agree this may be a good way to earn a little extra cash.

Heather Grace - April 17, 2017 Reply

Hi Eddy, Does it matter if you have no teaching experience? Also, do they pay you for the time it takes for reviewing the material as well as the class time? I see the class time is only 30 mins but if you spend 2 hours reviewing beforehand, it hardly seems worth the effort. Thanks!

    Eddy Salomon - April 17, 2017 Reply

    Hey Heather, it doesn’t state you need prior teaching experience. They do require a bachelor’s degree though. I don’t get the impression you’re paid for the preparation time. The class time can be up to an hour though and you do get some other bonuses. But you’re right, it may not be worth it for everyone.

Veronica - April 17, 2017 Reply

I appreciate the review you gave any of VIPKID, Eddy. Working as a virtual teacher is something I have considered in the past but I have very little knowledge on so this is definitely been helpful.

The complaints that you listed are definitely serious ones: bad tech support and the inability to use smartphones or tablets. Since it’s start in 2013, has the company made any efforts to make their platform more smartphone friendly?

You state they claim a salary of $18-22, but then you mention $7-9 base salary. Why the drastic gap?

I would still consider working as a virtual teacher, but VIPKID does not seem the direction I would go. Keep these great reviews coming, Eddy!

    Eddy Salomon - April 17, 2017 Reply

    Based on their website, they still don’t support the usage of a smartphone or tablet to this work. It may have something to do with the software they’re using. The pay rate varies depending on the amount of time you working. Up to 30 minutes the pay is $7-$9 and up to an hour $14-$22. They do a better job of explaning it here:

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