Get up to 60% off your TEFL course. Request Voucher

VIPKID Salary: How to Earn up to $4,000 per Month

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, or apply for a job, we earn a compensation at no extra costs for you.

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.

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. 

Save this post on Pinterest

What is VIPKID?

If you haven’t heard of it before, VIPKID is a platform to teach English online where you can hold classes with students in China

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.

Haven’t applied with VIPKID yet? Submit your application here.

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.

Simple, right?

You can earn between $14 and $22 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 $14-$22 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)
+ Participation incentive ($1)
+ Finished classes incentive ($0-$1))
*2 classes per hour

Let’s break down each element in the equation:

  • Base pay is $7-$9 per class, determined by how much prior experience you have and how well you perform in the mock class.
  • The participation incentive is determined by how many classes you’ve taught each month. 

If you teach between 30 and 45 classes you get a 50 cent bonus for each class (applied retroactively to each class during the month), and if you teach over 45 classes you get a one-dollar bonus per class.

  • The finished class incentive is a one dollar bonus that you get for starting and finishing a class on time.

And remember, there are two classes in an hour.

So if you finish neither class on time, teach fewer than 30 classes a month, and earn $7 per class, you’ll make $14 an hour. 

This scenario is unlikely, though, because at the very least you can expect to start and end your classes on time. This means that the effective lowest salary you can expect to earn through VIPKID is $16 an hour.

And, of course, if you teach over 45 classes each month, finish and start class on time, and make $9 an hour, you can make $22 an hour — not shabby.

The two incentives are pretty straightforward, so let’s talk about base pay.

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 your mock class that you can read to help you pass it with flying colors.

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.

Learn more about the requirements for VIPKID teachers.

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).

The Available Time Slots at VIPKID
The available “peak time” slots for lesson bookings at VIPKID.

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 free, 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 booking over 45 classes a month will give you a huge pay bump. 

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 — 11-12 classes a week will get you there.

Promote Yourself

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. 

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.

The VIPKID Booking Schedule for Online Lessons
My available class openings during Daylight Savings Time in the Midwest. You can open and close slots at your leisure until they’re booked by students.

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.

Submit your application here and start teaching English with VIPKID.

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.

The VIPKID certification center
You can always see which certifications you have – and which you can earn – in the Certification Center.

Conclusion

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. 

Comment below and let’s chat!

About Molly Oberstein-Allen

Molly Oberstein-Allen spent a year and a half teaching ESL and STEAM in Shenzhen, China. She currently resides in Kansas, where she writes and teaches online. She's passionate about traveling, literature, and the outdoors.

Leave a Comment





Join the 15k Monthly Readers

Join the 15k Monthly Readers

Subscribe the newsletter and learn how to teach English abroad & online successfully.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Up to 60% Off Your TEFL Course

Sign Up Now to Receive Two Vouchers For  Online or In-Class TEFL Courses and Secure Your Huge Discount!

You have Successfully Subscribed!