VIPKID Reviews: An Honest Review of Teaching with VIPKID 2023
After nearly three years of working with this company, I’ve decided to put together a comprehensive blog post of VIPKID reviews and what you can expect when you work for this company.
Although I’ve been successful with VIPKID throughout the past three years, I have absolutely nothing to hide. Here are my honest reviews of this company and what you need to know before you start your VIPKID journey.
Important VIPKID Update 2021-2022 ❗
❗ In 2021, the Chinese government shut down online English tutoring, which has had a major impact on the VIPKID platform. In my opinion, VIPKID is no longer a good option for earning a remote income.
With that said, if you’re still looking to earn money remotely, I highly HIGHLY recommend taking up blogging. Our blog helps us generate over $100,000 each year (without using social media). And we’ve helped hundreds of former online ESL teachers monetize their blogs, too.
If you’re curious, sign up for one of our free live trainings that I host each week. Click this link or the banner below to sign up!
What Is VIPKID?
VIPKID is an online English teaching platform that connects students from China with native English speakers around the world.
VIPKID students range in age from 3-15 years old and have varying levels of English comprehension. Lesson plans and slides are provided for teachers and we teach exclusively on the VIPKID interactive platform.
There are several requirements VIPKID teachers must meet in order to teach with VIPKID, three of these requirements are non-negotiable.
VIPKID teachers must:
1. Hold a Bachelor’s degree (in any subject)
2. Have one year of experience working with children
3. Have the legal right to work in the US or Canada (you cannot be from California, Washington State, or New York).
In order to work for VIPKID, you’ll also want to meet all of the tech requirements. So what devices and gear do you need in order to teach with this company?
✔A reliable computer, laptop, or tablet. Be sure that your device can download apps from the internet because you’ll be teaching directly from the VIPKID app.
Note: A Chromebook WILL NOT work, unfortunately.
✔ A webcam or built-in camera. You’ll be conducting video calls with the VIPKID kids, so you’ll need to be able to see them. I use the built-in camera on my Macbook and it works perfectly.
✔Stable WiFi. VIPKID suggests that teachers have internet speeds of 20+ Mbps download, 2+ Mbps upload, and less than 200 for a ping.
You can find out your internet speeds here: speedtest.net.
✔ A headset. To keep any echoing down and to block out any external noises during class, VIPKID requires a headset.
I have used this headset for 3 years and it hasn’t failed me yet: Logitech Analog Headset.
For more about the tech requirements set by VIPKID, check out our in-depth post here: 6 VIPKID Tech Classroom & Tech Requirements
VIPKID Application Process
If you meet the above requirements, you can continue through the hiring process.
The hiring process includes a demo lesson, a mock class, a TESOL course (if you don’t already have a teaching license), and signing a contract.
Note: It is best to have a referring teacher when you go through the application process. Your referring teacher will provide tips and tricks for getting through the hiring process quickly.
If you don’t have a designated referring teacher, feel free to use my code: LAURA0279. I’d be happy to help you through the process.
If you do use my referral code, send me an email at email@example.com so that I can reach you.
Passing The Mock Class
The most daunting part of the hiring process is the mock class. In order to ensure that they are hiring the best applicants, VIPKID does not take the mock class lightly.
During the mock class, you’ll be teaching a VIPKID mock class mentor; this teacher will act like a 5-year-old student.
You’ll be given a PowerPoint lesson ahead of time and you’ll need to practice it. Here are some quick tips to pass your mock class:
1. Practice, practice, practice. Be sure to review the lesson slides (both lessons A & B) and know exactly how you will teach each one.
2. Use props. Simple props like cutouts and stuffed animals will work well.
3. Use TPR like your life depended on it. Not sure what TPR is? Check out our post here: What Is TPR?
4. No incidental language. VIPKID wants their teachers to teach without using extra or unnecessary language. Keep this in mind.
For extensive tips on how to pass your VIPKID mock class, read our post here: VIPKID Mock Class: How To Pass With Flying Colors.
Signing Your Contract
Your contract with VIPKID will last for 6 months.
Keep in mind, you’ll be working as an independent contractor. This means that you can work as many hours or as few hours as you’d like. You can also take time off whenever you want.
Before signing your VIPKID contract, you’ll need to pass a background check. This is a pretty simple and self-explanatory step.
As of 2020, VIPKID rolled out significant changes to its pay scale. Teachers use to make between $20-22 per hour and now I’m seeing a lot more teachers earn $17-19 per hour.
For a simple breakdown, here’s what you can expect from VIPKID pay:
➡️ Base Pay (this is what you’ll make per class, which is 25 minutes): $7.50
➡️ Finished Class Incentive (you’ll earn this for every class): between $0.80 to $3.20 depending on how many classes you teach each month.
➡️ Short Notice Classes (if your class is booked within 24 hours of the class start time): $2 per lesson
For more details on the new and old VIPKID pay scale and incentives in this detailed post: VIPKID Pay & Teaching Salary.
How Much Can You Make Per Month With VIPKID?
This all depends on how many classes you want to teach. Some VIPKID teachers work a couple of hours per week while others use this as their full-time job. It is definitely possible to work 40+ hours per week with VIPKID.
Personally, I have made anywhere from $400 per month to well over $4,000 per month.
If you’re looking for an online ESL company that pays a bit more, check out our review of Magic Ears.
Is VIPKID A Pyramid Scheme?
VIPKID is an online English teaching platform, not an MLM or pyramind scheme.
This question comes up often because VIPKID gives its teachers a bonus if they help other applicants through the hiring process.
This is a one-time bonus for VIPKID teachers and it’s just to compensate them for their time and effort in helping others pass the necessary tests.
Note: You do NOT need to recruit new teachers. For the first two years that I worked with VIPKID, I didn’t recruit anyone. I simply made money through teaching classes.
Filing For Taxes When Teaching For VIPKID
As VIPKID teachers, we are all hired as independent contractors.
This means that VIPKID will not withhold taxes for us, we must do this ourselves.
I recommend saving 30% of each paycheck for taxes to be on the safe side. In addition, I have found it incredibly helpful to have a CPA complete my taxes.
The CPA we work with also teaches with VIPKID on the side, therefore she knows exactly what she is doing. She has saved us thousands of dollars.
If you want to chat with and hire the same CPA, check out her website and reach out to her here: Momen Tax Services. Be sure to tell her Laura Peters sent you!
VIPKID Available Teaching Hours
Since VIPKID caters to children in China, teaching hours revolve around waking hours in China. Therefore, teaching hours start at 8:30am and end at 9:00pm Beijing Time.
Although you can open any classes between the times listed above, there are peak hours and peak-peak hours. These hours are when students are more likely to book classes with you.
Peak hours are from 5pm to 6pm (Beijing Time) and peak-peak hours are from 6pm to 8pm.
Saturdays and Sundays have peak times all day long, so it’s easy to maximize your classes and earnings.
For those in the USA, your typical peak hours are:
Remember: You can open classes with VIPKID at any time from 8:30am to 9pm Beijing Time any day of the week. These are just the peak and peak-peak hours
Eastern Time: 5am – 8am M-F, 8pm – 8am Saturday & Sunday (Standard Time – during Daylight Savings, you can add an hour)
Central Time: 4am – 7am M-F, 7pm – 7am Saturday & Sunday (Standard Time)
Mountain Time: 3am – 6am M-F, 6pm – 6am Saturday & Sunday (Standard Time)
Pacific Time: 2am – 5am M-F, 5pm – 5am Saturday & Sunday (Standard Time)
What Does A Typical Class Look Like?
At this point in our VIPKID reviews post, you might be wondering, “how does this work? How are classes organized? Do I have to create my own curriculum? What if a student is misbehaving during class?”
These were all things I wondered when I first started teaching with VIPKID. Here are some things you should know about teaching VIPKID classes:
✔ VIPKID supplies the curriculum. You do not need to create your own.
✔ Once one of your classes is booked, you’ll be able to review the teaching materials for that lesson.
✔ For new teachers, it’s best to look over the class slides before you get into class. That way you’ll know what you’ll be teaching.
✔ The VIPKID students’ parents will book classes. They will book you based on your profile, education, and experience.
✔ If a student misbehaves, you can call the “Fireman”. He will alert the parents and they will monitor the situation.
VIPKID Reviews: What I Like About VIPKID
Now let’s get to the REALLY good stuff, shall we? Here are our VIPKID reviews and honest opinions.
I want to start on a positive note because ultimately, I like this company. If I didn’t like VIPKID, I wouldn’t have stuck around for three years while simultaneously writing handfuls of blog posts about it.
There are many positive aspects of VIPKID, but these are the five main reasons I stick with this company:
1. You Can Create A Flexible Schedule With VIPKID
The freedom that VIPKID gives me is overall the best part of this job. Being able to create my own schedule and work when I want is irreplaceable.
As a full-time traveler, it’s so freeing being able to take a week off to explore a new destination. It’s also nice to book short-notice lessons if I realize that I have extra time on my hands.
With VIPKID, I am basically my own boss. The company cannot tell me how many hours I need to work or when I need to work. This makes for an amazing work-life balance.
2. With VIPKID, You Can Teach From Anywhere In The World
Got reliable WiFi? Perfect, that’s all you need.
I’ve taught classes with VIPKID from all around the world. LITERALLY. I have even taught classes from the North Pole (who knew the WiFi was ridiculously fast in Svalbard?).
VIPKID was my entrance into the digital nomad lifestyle and it has helped thousands of other aspiring travelers reach their goals, too. If you want to find out how we use VIPKID to travel the world full-time, check out our blog post: How to Teach with VIPKID While Traveling the World.
3. It’s A Very Low-Stress Job
I’ve worked all kinds of jobs in my 28 years of life and this has definitely been the easiest job. I used to stress about my other jobs and have dreams about messing up or getting fired. With VIPKID, I feel so much relief.
I wake up, teach my students, and go back to sleep. The materials are provided for us and all we need to do is present the information to them for 25 minutes.
Sure, there are times when a student is rowdy, but it doesn’t happen as often as you’d think.
4. The Students Are (Mostly) Awesome
I’ve created some awesome friendships with my students on the VIPKID platform. They come ready to work hard and engage in conversation. They love to share their day with me and tell me about life in China. Not only that, but I create amazing friendships with their parents as well.
It should be noted that not EVERY VIPKID student is a perfect little angel. You’ll definitely run into the awful students that just don’t care, which will make you want to slam your computer shut. But I can honestly say that the good students outweigh the bad students by far.
5. No Prep Work
This is by far one of my favorite parts about working with VIPKID. Other teachers will wholeheartedly agree with me on this and I’m sure you could read all about this in positive VIPKID reviews floating through the internet.
No prep work. VIPKID supplies all of the lesson plans, we just show up and teach them.
For me, this gives me time to work on my blog, more time with my husband, and do more things for me. Basically, when my last class ends each morning, I check out from teaching. I know so many other jobs that cannot deliver this kind of relief.
6. Dive Into Chinese Culture
One of my favorite things about teaching with VIPKID is being able to learn and immerse myself in the Chinese culture from the comfort of my own living room.
I’ve learned so much about China and how my students live their everyday lives.
It is truly amazing and has inspired me to travel to places I wouldn’t typically think about visiting.
VIPKID Reviews: What I Don’t Like About VIPKID
Now let’s turn to the negative section of my VIPKID reviews. These are the things I don’t necessarily agree with when it comes to VIPKID.
As I said, I have nothing to hide here. This is as truthful as it gets. Whether other VIPKID teachers agree with me or not, these are my VIPKID reviews and opinions.
1. Peak Teaching Hours Are Unusual
Since we are working with students in China, we must cater to their daytime hours. Unfortunately for those residing in the US and Canada, this could mean getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning to teach classes.
Luckily for me, getting up in the middle of the night isn’t so bad. After I teach my classes each morning, I go back to sleep for a couple of hours before starting my day. The work-life balance is incredible when working with VIPKID.
2. The Interview Process Can Be Daunting
After talking to other aspiring VIPKID teachers and veteran teachers, I can confidently say that one of the most common negative reviews of this company is the grueling hiring process.
In order to begin teaching with VIPKID, you’ll need to complete the basic information section where VIPKID determines if you meet all of the requirements.
Next, you’ll need to complete a short quiz and demo. After, you’ll have the mock class, which is by far the most difficult part of the hiring process.
The long and winding road to becoming a VIPKID teacher turns a lot of possible applicants off.
To be fair, VIPKID must be sure that applicants are able to teach the given curriculum to standard. It doesn’t help to throw new teachers into the classroom without correctly preparing them.
Another thing to note is that the hiring process doesn’t have to be difficult.
Many teachers complete the entire process within a week and begin teaching a few days after that. With a veteran teacher to help, you can make the process quick and painless.
If you’re looking for a referring teacher, use my link to sign up with VIPKID: VIPKID Teach. Once you’ve used my link, send me an email so I can get in contact with you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Communication Between The Company And Its Teachers
Sometimes it feels like there is a communication discrepancy between the company and its teachers.
Oftentimes we hear about company-wide changes as they go into effect. In my opinion, it would be nice to be informed about significant changes months in advance so we can prepare for them and understand them in detail.
However, I do have to give VIPKID credit because it seems like they are making a huge effort to change this.
With 40,000+ teachers, it can be difficult to implement new changes while answering so many questions and concerns from teachers. VIPKID has created a team in San Francisco that will help bridge this gap.
4. No Benefits For Teachers
As I read through many negative VIPKID reviews on the internet, I notice that a lot of people bring up the fact that VIPKID teachers don’t receive benefits like a 401K, paid time-off, etc.
For me, this was a major downfall. As I was transitioning to teaching English online and traveling full-time, I was also turning 26. Health insurance from my parents was about to be gone for good.
As a VIPKID teacher, I am not offered health insurance benefits no matter how many hours I work.
This is definitely something to consider when applying for VIPKID. Alternatively, working for VIPKID has its own unique benefits. We can take time off whenever we’d like, we can teach extra or teach less if we so choose, and we can teach from anywhere in the world.
As I continued to work with VIPKID, I found ways to replace the benefits that I would be earning from a 9-5 job. We have found affordable health care, we have figured out how to save for retirement, and so much more.
For more information about how we do it, send me an email (email@example.com). I’d be happy to discuss it with you!
5. Absences Are Frowned Upon
One of the things you must be aware of when signing up for VIPKID is that once you book classes, you must show up to them. Absences are not very well-received.
I can understand where VIPKID comes from in this scenario since they must manage over 500,000 students and over 40,000 teachers.
If you’re one to miss work often, this might not be the job for you. Of course, you can take as much time off as you’d like, but if you sign up for classes, they expect you to be there.
6. The 2020 Pay Cut
In 2020, VIPKID rolled out a new pay scale for all teachers (new and veteran) that would significantly decrease the pay of most teachers.
Basically, VIPKID has put emphasis on teaching more classes each month; the more classes you teach, the more money you’ll make.
The problem with this is that many teachers teach with VIPKID as a side job, not a full-time job. So those teachers received a major pay cut.
This was disheartening and frustrating for a large majority of VIPKID teachers, so I’m including this in the cons section of this review.
Note: If you’re a new teacher and you’re planning on teaching A LOT of classes each month, this could actually be beneficial for you!
VIPKID Reviews From Other Teachers
This post wouldn’t be complete without touching on other teachers’ reviews of VIPKID.
How do other teachers feel about this online ESL company?
As you go through different websites and forums, you’ll see mixed reviews for VIPKID. Some teachers really love the platform and others.. not so much.
Here’s what other teachers are saying about VIPKID:
Positive VIPKID Reviews From Other Teachers
A lot of teachers are grateful for the opportunity to work from home and earn money while doing something they love.
Negative VIPKID Reviews From Other Teachers
Others are irritated with the recent changes and pay cuts for veteran teachers.
Another downfall is that VIPKID has done away with pay raises for the time being. This didn’t sit well with many teachers.
Is VIPKID Worth It?
Overall, I think VIPKID is worth it.
The positive VIPKID reviews heavily outweigh the negative VIPKID reviews. I’ve had a lot of success teaching with this company and I can honestly recommend it to anyone looking to earn money remotely.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Reviews
Before I signed up to teach with VIPKID, I thought this opportunity was too good to be true. Although I love this company and truly appreciate all that it has done for me, we all know that every company has its flaws.
I hope that after reading this review of VIPKID, you have a better idea of what this company is about and if it’s a good fit for you or not.
Want To Teach With VIPKID?
If you’ve read these VIPKID reviews and decided to take the plunge, sign up here: VIPKID Teach.
This is my personal affiliate link, which means if you use this link to sign up, I will become your VIPKID mentor and referral. I’ll be able to help you through the arduous hiring process and give you the best advice on getting classes as quickly as possible.
If you decide to use my link, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can contact you and offer the best tips!
Want More On VIPKID?
As a 5-star veteran teacher with VIPKID, I’m offering a free guide that will show you exactly how to become a highly demanded teacher. Grab your free guide below; all we need is your name and email address and we’ll deliver the guide directly to your inbox.
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NEED HELP!…I applied, sent in all of my credentials, sat up my classroom, lost my password to the system and now stuck. Please help me complete the process and get started!
You’ll need to email VIPKID in order to recover your password. You can contact them through this email: email@example.com
All the best,
Nice review. Reliable internet is key. Consider more computer than the minimum.
I’m petty sure I have taught the kid on the sofa.
Thanks for the kind words! Internet is key. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a mini freak out because my internet had a minor hiccup haha!
All the best,
Hello Laura…. am from Kenya and I hold Bsc Computing and Informatics…….I started my application as a VipkiD teacher just the other day and after providing my personal details, they cleared me to move to the next level of demo. Does it mean at some point before completing my application I will be rejected because am not a US or Canada native?
Yes, that is correct. You will need a tax ID from the US or Canada in order to complete the process.
I was wondering if you think taking the Coursera TESOL certificate would be helpful to me if I was to teach at VIPkids?
VIPKID actually has its own TESOL course for applicants and teachers and it’s completely free. I wouldn’t get another certification unless you plan on teaching for another company.
I hope that helps 🙂
I’m currently a very part-time VIP Kid teacher but looking to use it to fund my future travels.
I would love to see a blog post about how you save for retirement without a 401K and manage taxes from abroad.
So I did write a blog post about taxes and the best way to manage them. However, I’d be happy to write a post about our experience with taxes and saving for retirement 🙂
I’ll let you know more when I have it completed!
Hi Laura, can I teach even if Im in the Philippines?
If you are a US or Canadian citizen living in the Philippines, then yes! If you do not have the legal right to work in the US or Canada, then unfortunately no.
Hey, Laura! Thanks a lot for all the info. Hey, I only ask because you are a current employee and the blog is all linked up, but were you compensated for this post? I am interested in teaching for VIPKids, and it seems like the enthusiasm and positive feedback is warranted, but I thought I should ask.
I’m not compensated for writing any of my posts. I write about my experience with VIPKID because when I was a new teacher, there was very little information out there for teachers.
I am, however, compensated if I coach a referral through the hiring process and they become a successful teacher. They must actually teach classes for me to receive any compensation and VIPKID pays us because they don’t want to hire a training team. They figured, why not have the experienced teachers do the training and orientation?
But again, I only ever recommend companies and products on my blog that I truly believe in. I’ve been a teacher with VIPKID for two years and didn’t start writing about it until after my first year of teaching. I make about $3000 per month just from teaching classes. A few extra hundred dollars per month for coaching referrals.
Hope that helps!
I live and teach in California. Does that mean I am not eligible to work for Vipkid?
That is correct. VIPKID does not hire teachers from California. However, if you send me an email, I do have a recommendation for another company that does hire California residents. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk to you soon!
I am about to finish my mock class and upon reading this post I’d figure out that non-residence aren’t allowed. By any chance do you have any English Teaching recommendation? Thank you in advance <3
Feel free to shoot me an email and I’d be happy to direct you to some other companies 🙂
Hi Laura! Your posts have been so helpful. I am just about to sign my first contract and am thinking about taxes etc.
Are you registered as an LLC/Sole Proprietor/ anything like that? Or do you just file the extra tax forms required?
Also, any need for liability insurance or anything like that?
I’m so glad my posts have been helpful! I actually have an entire post on VIPKID taxes that you can check out here: https://mikeandlauratravel.com/vipkid-taxes/
I hope that helps! If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to email me!
I wanted to know about getting consistent classes. Is there usually a lot of work for teachers to sign up for or do you have to rush to sign up or are students just given to you to teach? How does that process work because I have heard different things about actual availability and popularity of teachers.
Everyone seems to have a different experience with VIPKID, however, right now is a great time to start teaching with them. Since many brick and mortar teachers are going back to school, VIPKID students are looking for new teachers. The company does not give you classes, you must attract the student using your profile. It takes approximately 3 months to get fully booked with VIPKID. Some teachers are luckier than others and get fully-booked right away. But most will need to be patient. It’s definitely worth the wait though!
I’m a retired teacher but looking to VIPKids to supplement my retirement. What technology, besides the reliable internet service do I need? I’ll need to buy equipment to teach and if I invest in something that won’t serve the purpose I will be upset. I just need your recommendation and I will begin the hiring process.
I actually have a post all about the tech and classroom requirements for VIPKID here: https://mikeandlauratravel.com/vipkid-tech-requirements/
Hope that helps! 🙂
Hi ?So Before I start the process… I need a Bachelors degree? What if you graduated from a technical school ? I have lots of credits from college but never got a degree because of going to 2 technical schools and then volunteering all over the world ? What are my options?
Unfortunately, these requirements are set by the Ministry of Education in China, so there is no workaround. You’ll need a diploma or proof of graduation from a 4-year accredited university.
I used to teach for a different company…I couldn’t do it sometimes and felt awful when I had absences. Is one able to sign up to teach a 6 am class at 5:55 am, so you know you’re good to go?
Unfortunately, classes cannot be booked if it’s less than an hour before the start time.
Hi Brook, I’ve been teaching for 14 years brick and mortar. The flexible scheduling, less stress is very appealing to me. My biggest worry is health insurance. I’d want to make this my full time job, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford health benefits. You said you were able to find afforadable health care. Can you provide any details on your coverage like approximate monthly payments, compliant, etc?
How you doing?
I’m from the UK and having been teaching for in the region of approximately 20 years however, ill health meant that I needed to walk away from my job. I was teaching FE and HE 16 to 19 cohort.
My health is slow improving and I am considering working from home and came across your blog and thinking perhaps this would be ideal for me, if I manage to make it through the interview process.
I have Hon’s degree, post graduate degree as well as a teaching degree.
What are your thought’s in reference to teachers/lecturers from the UK, would I pass the initial screening with being from the UK? Do you have any other tips or advice for me please?
Thank you in advance
Unfortunately, it is a requirement to have the legal right to work in the US or Canada. They will not accept anyone from the UK. Sorry about that and good luck!
Hi Laura, Is an ESL certificate a requirement for working at VIPKids? I worked ESL in Japan and recieved training there, though never recieved a certificate.
No, VIPKID has its own TESOL certificate that you can do if you need it and it’s free! Pretty nice!
A couple of years ago I got half way through the hiring process, and decided to stop because it seemed like it would be too much for a first-year teacher to handle. I’ve been seriously considering starting again so I can quit my “summer job” and make money easily at home.
Just wondering if you know anything about how brick and mortar teachers handle their hours? Is it possible to cut-down to just weekends, or one day a week during the school year, and then pick back up fulltime during summer? Or is that going to be difficult because all of my students would have found other teachers during the school year?
Thanks for all of the info!
I send you an email 🙂
hey, i would just like to update everyone about uk citizens working for vipkid. From now on they are accepting uk citizens!!
Thank you so much for the updated – I’ve been meaning to update this post for 2021! Thanks again 🙂
Can you apply for this job, if you are not a US citizen, but you have Social Security Number because you previously worked in the USA?
You have to have a current visa to apply. They also only accept teachers with North American accents, so keep that in mind.