If you’ve been researching ways to earn money from home, you’ve probably already heard of VIPKID.
This online teaching platform is a great way to make money from anywhere in the world, whether you’re doing it as a side hustle or a full-time job.
Not everyone who tries to teach through VIPKID earns as much as they’d like to, however.
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So how do you earn more?
In this article, you will learn how to calculate your salary and get 6 concrete tips for increasing your earnings.
What is VIPKID?
VIPKID provides lessons and curriculum, has excellent support staff for teachers and students, and schedules your classes for you once you’ve decided your availability.
All you really need to do is show up with a smile!
VIPKID classes are 25 minutes long, and the students are 3-12 years old.
How to Calculate Your VIPKID Salary
At most jobs, your wage is calculated using a simple equation, more or less: your hourly wage times how many hours you work.
You can earn between $15.60 and $24.40 an hour teaching through VIPKID, and you can work … well, pretty much as many or as few hours as you want.
Which is great, except all the wiggle room doesn’t tell you much about how much you can actually expect to earn through VIPKID.
In the next two sections, we’re going to break down each component of your VIPKID salary to give you an idea of where on the spectrum you might fall and how to increase your paycheck.
Part 1: How Much Can You Earn Hourly?
As we’ve mentioned, you can earn $15.60 and $24.40 an hour through VIPKID.
How much you’ll get paid depends on how many classes a month you teach, how high your base pay is, and whether you finish the class on time.
The Equation for Hourly Pay =
(Base Pay ($7-$9)
+ Finished Class Incentive ($0.80-$3.20)
*2 Classes Per Hour
Your finished class incentive is determined by how many classes you teach per month and how many lifetime classes you’ve taught through VIPKID.
And remember, there are two classes in an hour.
How is Base Pay Calculated?
Your base pay is calculated based on two factors: how much teaching experience you have and how well you perform in the interview and mock class.
We have a whole article about acing the mock class that you can read to help you pass it with flying colors.
And here’s an in-depth post about the requirements for VIPKID teachers.
In terms of teaching experience, you may be wondering what does and doesn’t count.
Obviously, classroom experience counts. It’s unlikely that you’ll make $9 base pay per class unless you’ve been a classroom teacher and have your teaching certificate or have some other type of significant experience.
However, if you have a TEFL certificate, have been a classroom assistant or tutor, have taught abroad, or have even been a camp counselor, you should list these on your application — they do count as past experience, and they very well may help you get higher base pay.
Part 2: How Many Hours Can You Work in a Week?
There are a bunch of factors that you have to consider in answering this question!
The first is what you’d like your schedule to look like, and the second is whether you’re hoping to work part-time or full-time for VIPKID.
The majority of classes are held in the early morning and late at night. I live in the Midwest, so I teach sometime between 6:00 AM-9:00 AM regularly and from 5:00 AM-8:00 AM during Daylight Savings Time (China doesn’t have Daylight Savings Time).
I could wake up at 4:00 am but I’m not trying to burn out — after all, this is not my full-time job.
I rarely fill all my slots and I don’t teach on Fridays, so I end up teaching 2 hours a morning 4 days a week.
I make $20 an hour, so that totals out to somewhere around $20/hour x 2 hours a day x 4 days a week x 4 weeks a month = $640 a month.
Not bad as extra income, right?
There are people who teach with VIPKID full time. You can make upwards of $4,000 a month if you wake up super early to teach (some people wake up as early as 3 am!) and stay up all night on the weekends.
It definitely requires a certain kind of lifestyle to keep these hours, but for many people, it’s worth it to get to work from home, have their days off, and spend time with their children during the day.
Your Schedule is Completely Up to You
The really great thing about VIPKID is how flexible it is.
When I first got started, I opened every single slot, waking up super early and then taking a nap when I was done teaching at 9. I got a lot of students that way, and I learned what kind of schedule worked for me.
I know now that I like waking up at 5:00, but 4:00 is way too early for me. I also know that I am absolutely not willing to stay up all night teaching on the weekends — I tried that exactly once and swore to never do it again.
I also know that if I teach more than about 4 classes back-to-back I start losing focus and stop being a good teacher, so I try to schedule breaks or leave an empty spot in my schedule on days when I’m booked full.
I figure that it’s better to sacrifice $10 here and there than to burn out and be miserable during my classes.
I went all-in when I first started VIPKID and then let my foot off the gas a little bit, but some people go the opposite route: they dip their toe in the water, opening more and more slots each week until they’re booked full.
You don’t have to decide whether you’re going to be a part-time or full-time teacher now, and you don’t need to stick to any decision you don’t want to long-term.
And that flexibility, in my opinion, is one of the best things about VIPKID.
How Can You Increase Your VIPKID Salary?
Now that we’ve broken down the elements of your salary, here are a few tips for how to raise it.
These six tips will help you organize your schedule, book more classes, and maximize your teaching time for higher profits.
Book More Classes
This one is obvious, but the more classes you book per month, the higher your finished class bonus will be.
Having that goal in mind (and watching your earnings increase) will keep you motivated throughout the month.
Try to set weekly goals for yourself to hit that mark — for example, 11-12 classes a week.
Creating an appealing intro video and a concise, impressive bio will do wonders when you’re trying to book classes.
VIPKID is like Tinder for teachers — parents can pick from any number of candidates to conduct their classes, so you want to stick out from the crowd.
Tips for Your Intro Video
Speak Slowly and Clearly
If parents can’t understand your intro, they probably won’t feel overly confident about your ability to communicate with their children in English.
Make sure your lighting is good
Film outside at midday or in a well-lit room to make your video look bright and cheery.
A silly hat, a stuffed animal, whatever! Props and goofy accents will make your video more memorable to parents, and they’ll also show them how fun and engaging you are as an English teacher!
This simple video is a great example of how to create your video.
Don’t be afraid to play around with it — parents will love seeing your personality shine. And that means more bookings!
Show up on Time
This one is a giant no-brainer. Not only do you need to show up on time and end on time to get a bonus, but doing so also makes you look professional and will lead to better comments from parents.
A teacher with a reputation for not being punctual probably won’t get too many bookings.
Show up to All Your Classes
This one, like the last one, is less about making more money and more about not losing money.
If you miss class without canceling it or cancel within 2 hours of your class, you’ll be charged a $10 no-show fee. And if you cancel between 2 and 24 hours before class, you’ll be deducted $2 per canceled class.
Note that there are exceptions for emergencies, so you don’t have to worry about being penalized should something awful happen to you or a loved one unexpectedly.
Besides the cancellation fee, parents will be unlikely to book you again if you’ve missed a class with them (unless you have a legitimate reason for doing so), because you’re wasting their children’s time when you don’t show up to commitments you’ve made with them.
Keep a Regular Schedule
Keeping a regular schedule will get you more bookings because you’ll get regular students who book you at the same time each day or week.
Instead of opening slots willy-nilly and sitting around between classes, you can get more reliable clients when you keep a more reliable schedule.
A regular schedule is also more sustainable and will keep you accountable, so you don’t start finding excuses to cancel classes right and left when you just don’t feel like waking up early.
Get More Certifications
The more certifications you have, the more levels you’re able to teach. And thus, the greater the pool of students you can teach!
If you want every slot you open to fill up, you should get as many certifications as you can, so you’re available to teach every student.
VIPKID can look just about however you want it to:
You can turn it into a full-time job and work all hours of the night, earning $4,000 per month.
Or you can do what I do and teach a few hours each morning, earning between around $150 and $700 per month depending on your schedule.
Make it your own! Teaching for VIPKID is flexible and low stakes.
I love teaching for VIPKID, and I’d love to respond to any questions or concerns you may have about it.