How To Teach English With VIPKID: The Comprehensive Guide [UPDATED]

Do you want a lucrative, fulfilling work-from-home job?

Do you want to set your own schedule and maintain flexibility and freedom while making money?

If so, teaching online might be for you.

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Teaching online lets you improve the lives of children around the world and earn good income all from the comfort of your home.

This article breaks down how you can start teaching from home and earning money today with VIPKID!

You probably have a ton of questions about VIPKID, and we’re here to answer them in this step-by-step guide to applying to work with this ESL company.

What’s So Great About Teaching Online, Anyway?

  • You can work anywhere with a solid internet connection
  • You get to set your own schedule
  • You can work as much (or as little) as you’d like
  • You’ll be helping students learn an important skill – English!
  • You can make up to $22 an hour – plus bonuses (more on that later)
How to Teach English with VIPKID. Earning money today

1. Get To Know VIPKID

Over 30,000 people teach with VIPKID, including digital nomads, stay-at-home parents, entrepreneurs, and classroom teachers. Collectively, VIPKID teachers serve more than 500,000 registered students. 

Teachers choose to teach English online through VIPKID because the platform allows them to set their own schedules and decide how many hours to work each week. 

Basic info about VIPKID classes:

Each class is 25 minutes long, and you’ll always teach a Chinese student aged 4-12. There’s a 5 minute break in between each class. 

Peak teaching hours are in the morning and evening in Beijing (we’ll go more into the specifics of your teaching hours a little further down). 

Teachers can make $15.60-$24.40 an hour teaching through VIPKID, depending on their experience, bonuses, and how well they perform during the interview process.

FAQ: How is my VIPKID salary calculated?

We go deeper in-depth about in our ultimate breakdown of your VIPKID salary, but here’s the rundown:

Teachers are given a base pay of $7-$9 for each 25-minute class – that number will vary depending on your teaching experience and your performance in your mock class. This works out to $14-$18 per hour, just for base pay.

On top of base pay, you’ll get a finished class incentive that ranges from $0.80-$3.20 per class, depending on how many classes you teach per month and how many classes you’ve taught through VIPKID in total. The bonuses bring your pay up to $15.60-$24.40 per hour!

VIPKID is undoubtedly one of the best companies for teaching English to Chinese students!

Online Teacher Molly with Sign
Hi, I’m Teacher Molly

2. Make Sure You Meet the Requirements for VIPKID Teachers

VIPKID teachers need to meet the following requirements:

  • License to work in the US or Canada
  • Bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • 2 years of teaching or childcare experience (interpreted loosely – get more info on what this means here)
  • Fluency in English
  • A desktop or laptop computer and good internet connection

Check out our guides to the best laptops for teachers and other essential online teaching supplies, if you need to buy some equipment.

Besides these requirements, you should have a good classroom setup. That means a kid-friendly background, a quiet spot to teach in, headphones with a mouthpiece, and teaching props including a white board and flashcards.

FAQ: I’m an introvert. Can I teach for VIPKID?

While it’s true that the prototypical VIPKID teacher is bubbly, outgoing, and extroverted, that doesn’t mean there’s not room for different kinds of teachers, too.

Shyer students might prefer calmer, less intense teachers, and older students might prefer a more serious teacher over a super enthusiastic one.

However, you should still be sure to be friendly and full of life during your VIPKID interview. 

3. Apply Online!

If you meet the requirements to become a VIPKID teacher, you’re ready to apply right now!

The application process varies in length, but it should take less than two weeks from submitting your application to teaching your first real class if you complete each step of the process in a timely manner.

Here are the steps to applying:

Step 1: Submit Your Application

The application covers basic information about you and ensures that you meet the teaching requirements for VIPKID. It shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Step 2: Complete a Live or Pre-Recorded Demo Lesson

The recorded option takes 5 minutes, and you can rerecord your lesson as many times as you’d like. You can also do the recorded option whenever you’d like! 

The live option is 30 minutes and is scheduled ahead of time, but it gives you the advantage of being able to get feedback about your lesson, ask any questions you have, and even potentially negotiate your salary. 

For both the live and recorded options, you’ll be given slides to review and prepare before your class.

Step 3: Pass Your Mock Class

Mock classes are like demo lessons in a lot of ways. In a mock class, you teach for 10 minutes and introduce yourself to the interviewer, get feedback, and ask questions for 15 minutes. You’ll be sent a full lesson plan to prepare for this. 

Use our complete mock class guide to make sure your mock class is a slam dunk.

Some people get hired after their first mock class, but most people need to do 2 mock classes before they’re sent over a contract. 

I taught English in China for 2 years before I started working for VIPKID and I did 2 mock classes!

Your mock class is your chance to show VIPKID that you understand their platform and have an effective teaching style! This is also the chance for you to show that you have a good internet connection and an appropriate teaching environment.

Step 4: Take or Submit a TESOL Course

If you don’t already have a TEFL certificate, you’ll need to take and pass a TESOL course that VIPKID offers for free before signing your contract. The course is only around 10 hours, and it contains lots of information that will help you be a better teacher!

Step 5: Sign Your Contract

This is the fun part. Once you’ve finished all the previous steps, it’s finally time to sign your contract and start teaching! VIPKID contracts last 6 months.

When you sign your contract, you’ll find out your base salary! Your base salary is determined by how much teaching experience you have plus how well you did in your mock class. 

Your base pay will fall between $7 and $9 for each 25-minute class, and you’ll have the opportunity to earn bonuses on top of that as well. 

Our complete VIPKID salary breakdown will answer any salary questions you might have!

FAQ: Is teaching for VIPKID for me?

I find online tutoring to be incredibly rewarding and convenient, but teaching for VIPKID has its challenges, too. 

  • You have to either wake up early or stay up late to work 
  • You need to be on-camera and “on” at early or late hours
  • You can work as much or as little as you want – but you aren’t guaranteed a certain number of hours (Either you get booked or you don’t, and you may find yourself booked solid for stretches and teaching just one class a day at other times.)
  • Teaching for VIPKID means going with the flow and learning to accept (and maybe even appreciate) some uncertainty

If these challenges sound like something you can deal with, then I’d recommend applying – because for many teachers, myself included, the tradeoff is well worth it.

4. Start Teaching

Once you’ve signed your contract, it’s time to start teaching. Teaching can be stressful at first, but believe me when I tell you that you’ll start feeling like a pro in no time.

Lessons with VIPKID aren’t exactly like normal classroom lessons – VIPKID uses the flipped-classroom method.

This means that students do activities that teach them about the class material before each lesson and then spend their classes solidifying what they’ve learned, practicing conversation, and doing other project- and activity-based things.

This strategy is really great for immersion teaching (like you’ll be doing with VIPKID!) because it means that you’re not teaching the students new material from start to finish — you’re just helping them deepen their understanding and get more comfortable with the English language.

All of this theory and terminology matters kind of minimally in the end, though because you don’t do any actual lesson planning with VIPKID. You’ll get fleshed out lesson plans with down-to-the minute content. Your only job is to show up and teach!

The key to feeling confident when you start teaching is to prepare, prepare, prepare.

For more tips on how to be an outstanding online teacher, check out our 7 pro tips for teaching English online.

Getting your props set up ahead of class will make every lesson a breeze. (Photo by Graham Carroll)

Top Tips for Making Every Lesson a 5-Apple Lesson

1. Open slots early

The earlier you open teaching slots, the more opportunities parents have to book you! Open slots as soon as you can and make sure to check back on your teaching schedule often so you’re not caught teaching a class by surprise.

2. Review the materials before class

Knowing what content is in each class will help you pace yourself properly, and it will also prevent you from trying to figure out how to teach each slide before class.

When you’re reviewing, you can set up props that will help you illustrate different vocabulary words and concepts.

You can also get your rewards set up and brainstorm ways to extend the material by asking questions or inserting extra activities in case your student blows through the content extra fast.

3. Get your classroom set up

Before each class make sure your classroom environment is well-lit, your props and rewards are set up, and your appearance is well-kempt and professional.

FAQ: What will my working hours look like?

The good news is that there’s no maximum (and no minimum) to how much you work for VIPKID! Work however much you want, whenever you want to. 

Want to work for 2 hours each morning 5 days a week? That’s fine. Want to teach 60 hours one week, opening all your slots and staying up all night, and take the entire following week off? That’s fine, too.

Peak teaching times for VIPKID are 5:00-8:00 EST – afternoon for kids in China (which doesn’t observe daylight savings time, by the way. Fun fact, right?)

However, you can open slots from 8:00 pm EST to 8:00 am EST – and you can fill pretty much all those slots reliably on weekends.

That’s It! Go Get Hired, Rockstar!

Becoming a VIPKID teacher is lucrative and fun – and it’s not as hard as it might seem.

Remember to apply through this link, so I can support you to get hired quickly.

We hope this guide gave you the tools you need to start your application process today. Check out our website for more tips about teaching English online and in-person, and don’t hesitate to comment with any questions you might have!

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1 thought on “How To Teach English With VIPKID: The Comprehensive Guide [UPDATED]”

  1. Looking forward to getting started. I’m a retired Spanish teacher with 16 years of classroom teaching experience. Teaching online will be new to me. I plan to take the TEFL course. My only real concern is that there will be enough availability of work to make this really worthwhile. I like what I read here, Hope it’s really as good as it sounds! I’m glad that the course includes material about teaching online because that’s the thing I’m most nervous (not too nervous) about.

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