This is probably the most common question I get asked about teaching with VIPKID. What does VIPKID pay their teachers?
Good question. It’s one that I researched for hours before applying for the job because well… money is important.
Unfortunately, I never got a straight answer because the VIPKID pay structure is quite complicated.
Use this guide to understand the VIPKID pay scale and how you can maximize your salary.
VIPKID Pay 2021
At the end of December 2019, VIPKID announced several changes. One change in particular was to the VIPKID pay structure.
The Old VIPKID Pay Structure
Before 2020, VIPKID was paying their teachers a base salary plus incentives for each class.
Teachers earned between $16-22 per hour teaching classes with VIPKID.
In 2020, VIPKID rolled out an entirely new pay structure. Every VIPKID has transitioned to this new pay structure, so this is what you can expect:
The New VIPKID Pay Structure
The new VIPKID pay structure as of 2020 follows a tiered scale. Every teacher is assigned a base pay rate. You’ll receive your base pay for every class you teach (25 minutes).
In addition to your VIPKID base pay, you’ll also receive an incentive amount for each finished class taught.
Therefore, you can calculate your hourly VIPKID pay like this:
[Base Pay] x 2 = Hourly Base Pay
[Tiered Class Incentive] x 2 = Hourly Tiered Incentive
Hourly Base Pay + Hourly Tiered Incentive = Hourly VIPKID Pay
What Decides My VIPKID Base Pay?
VIPKID states that all new applicants are entering the platform with a base pay between $7-8 in late 2020 (December).
However, I have not seen an applicant assigned more than $7.50 per class for their base pay.
As an aspiring VIPKID teacher, you can expect to earn $7.50 per class (plus incentives).
I would not listen to those that say you’ll be able to earn $8 as a base pay because I have seen hundreds of applicants go through the process and none of them have been offered more than $7.50.
Doesn’t seem like a lot?
Remember, VIPKID classes are 25 minutes in length, meaning you can fit two classes into an hour. So although your base pay will be set at $7.50, you’ll actually be making $15 per hour PLUS your finished class tiered incentive
How Much Will I Earn With The Finished Class Tiered Incentive?
VIPKID has rolled out the new tiered incentives system, meaning that you will earn a bonus for every class you teach.
To figure out how much you’ll make with the finished class tiered incentive, you’ll need to find out what tier you’ll be starting at.
Most new VIPKID teachers start at tier 1, but I have seen a few applicants assigned to tier 2. This information should have been included in the email that VIPKID sent regarding your base pay.
Once you know what tier you’re in, you’ll be able to calculate how much money you’ll make each class thanks to the finished class tiered incentive.
If you’re in tier 1, you’ll start out making $0.80 extra per class or $1.60 per hour for your first 20 classes.
Once you reach 21 classes in one month, you’ll start to earn $1.20 per class or $2.40 per hour.
And this continues. You’ll continue to climb this scale each month.
As soon as you teach 80 classes, you’ll move up a tier and climb through that pay scale until you reach the next tier.
Note: I realize this might be confusing and you probably have plenty of questions. If you need any clarification, don’t hesitate to reach out via email: email@example.com.
VIPKID Trial Class Pay
On the VIPKID platform, there are many different levels of classes that we can teach. One of the levels that can be taught is a trial class.
Trial classes are lessons with trial students or, in other words, students who aren’t paying customers yet.
For trial classes, VIPKID teachers are paid their regular salary unless the trial student doesn’t show up to class.
If you are teaching a trial class and the student doesn’t show up, you will receive half of your base pay for that lesson plus your finished class tiered incentive.
Note: If a student no-show occurs for a regular lesson, you will receive your entire base pay.
How Can You Increase Your VIPKID Salary?
I get it.
$15 per hour (plus tiered finish class incentives) doesn’t seem like a lot. And you’re probably wondering how you can increase your VIPKID pay even more.
1. VIPKID Short Notice Classes Pay
The easiest way is to teach short notice classes. Short notice classes are classes opened within 24 hours of teaching them. Teachers receive $2 per class extra for these lessons.
For example, if it is currently Sunday at noon and I open a teaching slot for Monday before noon and that slot gets booked, I’ll receive $2 extra.
$2 per class can result in $4 per hour. If you open two short notice classes back to back and both get booked, you’re looking at a $4 increase to your VIPKID hourly pay.
Your base pay will increase from $7.50 to $9.50 (or $19 per hour). With incentives, you’ll be earning well over $20 an hour.
Important Note: In an attempt to earn more money, many VIPKID teachers only open short notice classes.
While this is an awesome way to earn more money, I wouldn’t suggest doing this if you’re a new teacher. You’ll want to build up your clientele before you decide to open only short-notice lessons.
2. VIPKID Trial Student Sign-Up Bonus Pay
As mentioned above, VIPKID offers trial classes to Chinese students in order to market the platform. Teachers are still paid the same amount for these lessons, but they are free for the student.
If you teach a trial student and they decide to sign up for VIPKID, you will receive a $5 bonus. This is called a trial student sign-up incentive.
If you teach two trial classes back to back and both students sign up for VIPKID, you’ll earn an extra $10 per hour. I’ve had this happen and it is awesome.
3. Teach More Classes
To maximize your pay, I highly recommend teaching as many classes as you can.
The more you teach, the more you’ll make based on the new tiered VIPKID pay scale.
4. VIPKID Referral Incentive
VIPKID is quickly expanding and they’re always on the hunt for new teachers.
Instead of pouring a lot of money into marketing to new teachers, they outsource the recruiting and training of new teachers to current teachers.
Who better to show new teachers the ropes and answer questions than experienced VIPKID teachers?
If you refer a teacher to VIPKID and they start teaching classes, you will receive $100 for helping them become a teacher.
This is a completely optional part of VIPKID. Some teachers spend time referring, others do not.
For more about referring new teachers to VIPKID, check out our recent blog post, VIPKID Referral Code: 3 Reasons Why You Should Use One.
5. Mock Class Mentors & Other Opportunities
After teaching with VIPKID for about a year, they allow teachers to hold higher positions within the company. This can include becoming a mock class mentor, a brand ambassador, or a local leader.
These VIPKID opportunities all have much higher pay ($28-30/hr).
You can find these additional opportunities in your Certification tabs in your teacher’s dashboard.
When Do I Get Paid?
VIPKID teachers can choose to be paid weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. You can change your preference in the payment tab in your VIPKID dashboard.
Note: If you choose to get paid weekly or bi-weekly, your tiered class incentives will not show up on every paycheck. You will only receive your tiered class incentives on the paycheck that includes the final day of the month.
How Do I Get Paid?
VIPKID pays its teachers by direct bank deposit or PayPal.
I realize that some people might be wary about giving their bank information to a company abroad, but I have been working with VIPKID for nearly two years and I’ve never had a problem.
They are completely professional and keep all banking information secure.
VIPKID always pays me on time and there are no transaction or international fees.
Paying Taxes While Working with VIPKID
VIPKID hires teachers as independent contractors, which means that we are responsible for filing our own taxes.
This may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
As a general rule of thumb, VIPKID teachers should set aside 30% of each paycheck for taxes.
For more information about paying taxes as a VIPKID teacher, be sure to read our detailed post: VIPKID Taxes – How to Pay Taxes as an Independent Contractor
VIPKID Pay & Salary FAQs
VIPKID pay and salary is a complex topic. Here are a few more frequently asked questions about the pay you can expect from VIPKID:
How Much Can You Earn Hourly?
Due to the changes imposed in 2020, new VIPKID teachers are earning approximately $17-19 per hour (without including any short notice bonus or trial class conversion).
If this isn’t enough, there are other companies that offer more pay than VIPKID. Magic Ears is one of the companies that pays their teachers between $19-26 per hour.
You can find out more in our post here: Magic Ears Review.
How Many Hours Can You Work In A Week With VIPKID?
VIPKID offers classes from 8:30am to 9pm Beijing Time, meaning that you could potentially teach for 12.5 hours straight each day.
Although I don’t know anyone who teaches all 12.5 hours, I do know plenty of people who teach 8 hours each day.
In order to do this, you’ll need to build up your student base and reputation with the company. This takes time, but you can increase your bookings with these tricks: How To Quickly Get Bookings With VIPKID.
Does VIPKID Offer Raises?
Prior to 2020, VIPKID did offer teachers raises based on several criteria.
Unfortunately, they have done away with raises as of now.
I do not know if they will continue to keep their teachers’ base pay stagnant or if they will implement a new raise system, but for now you can expect to earn the same amount.
I will continue to keep this blog post updated if I hear anything about new raise requirements.
What Is The Most I Could Make With VIPKID?
I know teachers who make a couple of hundred dollars each month by teaching a few hours here and there.
I also know some teachers who make $8000+ per month through teaching, referring, and working as VIPKID mentors.
VIPKID offers 12.5 teaching hours per day. So could you potentially work 12.5 hours per day, 7 days per week?
But many teachers do not teach that much for obvious reasons.
Overall, earning $3000 per month with VIPKID seems to be the norm for full-time online ESL teachers.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Pay & Teaching Salary
So what does VIPKID pay?
This all depends on which tier you’re in, how many classes you teach each week, and if you take advantage of other opportunities to earn more money through VIPKID.
Interested In Teaching With VIPKID?
If this job interests you at all, please take a look at some of my other posts regarding VIPKID, here. I have been teaching with VIPKID for about two years now and I can honestly say it’s an amazing company and a great opportunity.
If you are looking to sign up with VIPKID, I’d appreciate it if you used my referral code. I will be able to help you through all the steps to becoming a successful teacher.
Use referral code: LAURA0279. Once you use my referral code, send me an email so that I know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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