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 (email@example.com). 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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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