VIPKID Requirements: 7 Requirements for Aspiring Teachers 2023
Thinking of teaching English online with VIPKID? Check out the 7 necessary VIPKID teacher requirements for aspiring teachers.
Teaching English online is an excellent opportunity to work from home and earn money remotely. In fact, working for VIPKID has been the driving force behind working remotely and traveling the world full-time.
So let’s dive in!
VIPKID Teacher Requirements
1. A Bachelor’s Degree
One of the most important VIPKID requirements for aspiring teachers is a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited university.
I know there are many wonderful aspiring teachers out there that don’t hold a Bachelor’s degree, but unfortunately, this is a very strict requirement.
I’m often asked, “I have years and years of experience. Can I still apply if I don’t have a Bachelor’s degree?”
Without a Bachelor’s degree, your application will automatically fail. These teacher requirements are based on strict laws set by the Ministry of Education in China.
Luckily, your Bachelor’s degree can be in any subject. Most people assume that in order to teach for VIPKID, they must have a teaching degree, however, this is not the case.
Whether your degree is in graphic design, chemistry, or political science, you are qualified to teach with VIPKID.
Does VIPKID check for a degree?
To start the hiring process, VIPKID has each applicant fill out a computer-automated application. This is where they ask about a degree, teaching experience, and other qualifications.
Since they don’t ask for proof of a degree right off the bat, it has applicants wondering, “does VIPKID check for a degree?” The answer is yes, VIPKID does check your degree.
Before you are allowed to sign your contract and begin teaching, you must upload a copy of your official university diploma as proof of a Bachelor’s degree. VIPKID spends 7-10 days checking all of your documents to make sure you qualify before you can begin teaching.
2. TESOL or TEFL Certificate*
Up until recently, VIPKID didn’t require its teachers to have a TESOL (teach English as a second language) certificate. Although they looked highly upon applicants who earned one, TESOL certificates were optional.
Beginning in 2019, the Ministry of China has imposed regulations for online teaching companies. These rules, although strict, are followed closely by VIPKID.
One of these regulations asks that all online English teachers acquire a TESOL, TEFL, or CELTA certificate.
As this rule went into effect, VIPKID came up with an easy solution for their teachers. They generated a TESOL-VIPKID program that met the standards for this requirement.
The idea of having to earn a certificate might scare some applicants away, but I can assure you that the TESOL-VIPKID program is as easy and straightforward as possible.
VIPKID allows an infinite amount of tries to pass the short and simple quizzes, so failure isn’t an option. In fact, most teachers breeze through the TESOL-VIPKID program in less than an hour.
3. Native English Speaker
In order to teach with VIPKID, you must be a native English speaker with a North American accent. They ask that their teachers have an accent that resembles northern America because this is the accent that the Chinese parents are looking for.
If you have a southern accent, you are still eligible to teach. Keep in mind, the mock class mentor will ask that you pronounce words without a strong southern accent.
4. Eligible to Work in USA or Canada
Another one of the important VIPKID teacher requirements is the eligibility to work in the United States or Canada.
In order to receive pay, teachers must input their USA or Canadian tax ID, so you MUST be able to work in one of these two countries.
I’ve had many Brits and Australians ask about teaching for VIPKID, but unfortunately, this company does not accept teachers from outside of the US and Canada. Although this is one of the VIPKID teacher requirements, there are other companies that do accept teachers from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other places around the world.
You can read more about those companies in our recent post: Teach Kids English Online – 9 Awesome Companies.
Important Update on VIPKID Requirements
As of December 1, VIPKID will no longer hire applicants from California, New York, or Washington state. This is based on the laws set by these states regarding independent contractors.
If you are from California, New York, or Washington state and would like to teach English online, feel free to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I do have another suggestion that could help you start your online English teaching journey.
5. Two Years of Experience Working with Children
All teachers working with VIPKID must have two years of experience working with children. Although this is a non-negotiable VIPKID requirement, they are quite lenient when it comes to the definition of experience.
All of the following experiences working with kids qualify for VIPKID:
- Sunday school
- Camp counselor
If you have another form of experience working with children, it will most likely qualify, too. VIPKID wants its teachers to feel comfortable working with children, which is why they require this experience.
Pro-tip: When you begin the application with VIPKID, they will ask, “how much teaching experience do you have?”
To clarify, they are just asking about how much experience you have working with children, not necessarily teaching. All of the above examples are accepted by VIPKID.
Any applicant that puts less than two years of experience will automatically fail. Be sure to select two years or more to pass the initial application.
Does VIPKID Check For Experience?
VIPKID does not verify your teaching experience or prior work history. I’m not sure why they don’t check your experience or job references, but they expect you to be truthful in the application.
6. Pass a Background Check
Every VIPKID teacher must pass a background check in order to begin teaching. After passing the mock class and before signing your contract, VIPKID will ask that you submit information to take a background check.
It takes approximately 7-10 days for VIPKID to assess your submitted documents (proof of degree) and background check. If you pass this stage, you’ll be ready to teach!
Read next: The VIPKID Application Process: 7 Steps to Succes
7. Availability During Beijing Hours
Not a night owl or an early riser? This COULD pose a problem for you. One of the VIPKID requirements is that teachers have availability during Beijing hours. Since you are teaching Chinese children, you must cater to their timezone.
Peak teaching hours run from 6pm – 9pm Beijing Standard Time. The following is a list of prime teaching hours based on North American timezones:
Eastern Time: 6am – 9am (everyday), 8:30pm – 9am (Saturdays, Sundays, summer holiday, and Chinese holidays)
Central Time: 5am – 8am (every day), 7:30pm – 8am (Saturdays, Sundays, summer holiday, and Chinese holidays)
Mountain Time: 4am – 7am (every day), 6:30pm – 7am (Saturdays, Sundays, summer holiday, and Chinese holidays)
Pacific Time: 3am – 6am (every day), 5:30pm – 6am (Saturdays, Sundays, summer holiday, and Chinese holidays)
Pro-tip: It IS easily possible to teach beyond these hours. Some teachers even work 40+ hours per week. The times listed above are just the PEAK time slots for VIPKID.
Keep in mind, there are no classes offered from 10pm to 8:30am Beijing Time because the students are sleeping.
For even more about VIPKID teaching hours, check out this blog post: VIPKID Hours & Time Charts.
Interested in Teaching for VIPKID?
Use this link to sign up with VIPKID and use code LAURA0279 when filling out your application.
This will make me your VIPKID referral. It will be my job to help you through the arduous hiring process and get you teaching as soon as possible. If you decide to use my referral code, send me an email to let me know: email@example.com.
If you’re still on the fence about teaching with VIPKID, check out my honest review of VIPKID right here.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Teacher Requirements
VIPKID is an amazing company to work for, especially for those looking for a location independent career. Whether you’re working for VIPKID part-time or full-time, you’ll enjoy every second of teaching these young students.
In order to qualify as a VIPKID teacher, be sure that you meet the 7 VIPKID teacher requirements above.
Find all of our VIPKID resources here: VIPKID Blog.
Want More On VIPKID?
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Such amazing insight and advice that you have compiled here! I am researching into becoming an online english teacher and wanted to find out where to acquire the TEFL certificate, and also : should I get the 60hr one or 120hr one? Would I need to have it before applying to VIPKID or can I get it after applying?
many thanks 🙂
Glad you reached out. VIPKID actually has their own TEFL course you can take and it’s free! You’ll take it as you’re applying to work for them, which is extremely helpful.
Let me know if you have anymore questions 🙂
Thanks so much 🙂
Thanks for advice. My question is,
I am from the States living abroad in Europe which means by agreement among countries I am obliged to pay taxes in residence country, not in the States. If Vipkid requires my US tax number it’s a legal fiscal issue as I have to declare taxes in Europe not in the states plus bliged to have local bank acct in residence country. Does Vipkid have this option for Americans teachers living long term in Europe?
Yes, as long as you have an address you can use in the USA, you can absolutely teach with VIPKID if you’re living in Europe. Actually, I HIGHLY recommend joining the Facebook group: VIPKID Teachers Who Travel. Let’s of great info in there about traveling, living abroad, and taxes!
I hope that helps 🙂
Hi Laura, I meet all of the requirements except potentially one of them, I had an underage drinking ticket nearly 10 years ago would that automatically disqualify me?
I don’t think an underage drinking ticket would disqualify you, no. You should be a-OK!
I have taught online for nearly 10 years with Educate Online. Recently, I left the online platform to substitute teach in one of our local schools. However, the Covid -19 scare has closed our school until next fall. If I were to apply and be offered a position, how soon would I start; additionally, do the students have an IEP or ILO ( instructional learning objective) already planned or are they assessed daily and modified. Finally, I have a Masters in education specializing in literacy but do not have the newly required 2019 requirements. How much do the tests costs? Moreover, are there minimum internet speeds for online. For example, when I taught with Educate Onlne the minimum was roadrunner turbo.
I’m not sure by what you mean by tests costs. The above requirements are the only necessary requirements for VIPKID. No need for any specific tests or certifications besides the ones I’ve listed above.
I hope this helps,
I’m currently pursuing my Bachelor’s and already have an Associate’s. Will my application still get turned down?
Unfortunately, a Bachelor’s degree is a must. This requirement is based on a law set by the Ministry of Education in China. I wish I could help more and I wish I knew more companies outside of China that allow teachers with Associate’s. I’ll let you know if I find any!
Hi Mike and Laura,
Is there a minimum amount of teaching hours per week? Additionally- would I be able to apply in March and then start in June (I work in the school system and have off during the summer).
No minimum hours at all. You can pick your own schedule. So when we’re traveling, I rarely teach. When we are stationary for a while, I teach a whole lot more.
You can definitely start the hiring process now. It takes about 1-2 weeks to complete depending on your persistence, but you can take your time throughout the process.
If you want to start teaching in June, I recommend starting the process now and opening a few slots here and there (maybe on the weekends) until June. Since it takes about 3 months to get a completely full schedule, it would be best to build a student base before you want to teach long hours. Does that make sense? If not, feel free to reply to this comment or reach out to me via email!
Hope this helps 🙂
I want to apply to work for VIPkid. Can I go ahead and send a copy of my teaching license through an e-mail to get started with the process?
They won’t need your teaching license just yet. You’ll have the first couple of steps to complete first and then they’ll ask for a copy of your teaching license.
You can go ahead and sign up using my referral link if you’d like a mentor for the process and we can get you started from there!
If applying and my only experience is babysitting for family members occasionally over the last 20 years; is that sufficient enough experience?
Babysitting does count, yes! You’ll just need to make sure you check the box that says “1+ year of experience teaching children” when you’re applying.
I am a US licensed speech pathologist. I do not have TESOL certification, but all my training would be similar.
Yep, no need for a TESOL. VIPKID provides their own for us!
Hi Laura this is amazing. I am currently applying and I would like to know if it is possible to work for them while I am in the UK. I am Canadian and sent in my application as a Canadian
I teach classes from all around the globe! You can definitely work while traveling, just as long as you have stable wifi. I would also NOT mention to the immigration staff at the airport that you are teaching classes while in the UK (unless you have a work permit). I just tell them I’m visiting and there’s no harm done 🙂
In fact, there are thousands of us who teach with VIPKID while traveling the world. So go for it!
Thank you for a great site and information about VIPKids. I have a few questions. One, can men do this and how will Chinese parents view a man as a teacher? The second is how we get students once we’re all set. Does VIPKids assign students or do we have to somehow solicit for students? Also, are we paid per hour or by the student?
Men can absolutely do this. In fact, male teachers are always in high demand! Chinese parents love to have their male students engage with male teachers.
We get students by creating a profile with photos, a video, and a bio. There are also several different ways to market yourself as a teacher, which I can explain to you in more detail in an email.
We are paid by the class, which is 25 minutes long.
Feel free to reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to go into depth about this job and I’d also be happy to help you through the hiring process.
All the best,
Thank you so much for info.
I am in South Africa, am I eligible to apply?
If you’re from South Africa, no. If you’re from the US or Canada and you’re living in South Africa, then yes!
I went to college for several years, then started working and didn’t finish. I’d like to go back and finish my degree so I can start teaching English Second Language online.
I’ve heard that only certain colleges and universities are recognized by the Ministry of Education in China. Any idea where I’d access that information? I’d hate to spend time and money only to find out that the school I attended wasn’t on their list. Thanks!
VIPKID will accept any degree from an accredited university. Just make sure your school is internationally accredited and you should be good!
I obtained a Registered Nurse Degree some years ago – it was a three-year program. It was not officially called a Bachelors’s Degree back then (in the 1990’s). Do you think this is enough for the hiring process?
I can’t be sure on this, but I do know that they are looking specifically for a 4-year Bachelor’s degree. I would definitely check with them before applying!
I have my bachelors and am a US and Australian citizen. My address in the states is in California but am currently living and residing in Australia. Do you think I would be able to apply? Also do they ask proof of address?
Thanks in advance
Send me an email and I’d be happy to help you figure this out 🙂
Ive just signed up with VipKid and Ive used your referral. Very anxious about this new experience, hope that everything will be ok.
Send me an email so I can connect with you there and help you through the process! Looking forward to working with you!
Hi Laura! I have a quick question. I have a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. However, I can’t find my diploma from 1983. Will they accept a transcript which states that I graduated and lists my degree?
Yes, they will accept an official transcript!
Will Vipkid hire you if you show them documented proof that you’re registered in a Bachelors Degree program with an accredited university?
Unless you already have a Bachelor’s degree, VIPKID will not hire you. You must have proof of graduation from a 4-year program.
I am from the Philippines. Is it possible that they will hire teachers from our country?
No, unfortunately, you must be from the US or Canada.
What kind of flexibility is there once you start teaching? For example, if I usually teach every weekday, but then one week I were to go camping or some other travel/activity that would conflict, can I easily change my schedule?
You have full say over your schedule. So you can teach anytime you’d like and take time off when you need it. For example, we are in the French Polynesia right now and the internet is not strong enough for classes, so I am taking the entire month off from teaching. No repercussions. We’re independent contractors, so they cannot tell us how much to work or when to work.
Hope that answers your question 🙂