About VIPkid Online Teaching Jobs
The homepage of VIPkid will immediately tell you that what you can find here are VIPkid online teaching jobs. However, what you will teach here are English lessons to Chinese kids. If you like to be part of this real-time online immersion platform for teaching English, be sure to read until the end of this article.
According to a Bloomberg article, Glassdoor honors VIPKid as “one of the best places to work in 2020 for second year in a row.”
Established in 2013, however, its formal launch was in 2014. See the screenshot below.
From then on, it has become a leading online learning start-up in the Chinese market. In this video below, you will see what a day in the life of a VIPkid teacher is. Watch as she starts her day, prepare her teaching materials and how she prepares herself before attending her students’ classes.
If this way of life (to earn money) appeals to you, then the details below will definitely help you.
How It Works
If you become a VIPkid teacher, you will join its community of over 100,000 teachers and could teach any of its over 700,000 students through over 5,000,000 classes every month.
This image above shows what your work is like as a VIPkid teacher. You will teach children via VIPkid platform following a custom curriculum for a student.
Here, you may work whenever you like, without worrying of any commitment on quotas or minimum hours. You may choose the hours when you want to teach. The more hours you can teach and more bookings you will get, the more you could earn.
You will teach English online to Chinese students so you might wonder if there is also a need to know the Chinese language. You probably need to know how to say “hello” in Chinese to help make your young students warm up to you on your first meeting.
VIPkid recommends that you have a minimum of two years of teaching experience. At first, I thought this is just a recommendation wherein it may also open doors to amateurs in online English teaching.
In terms of educational background, VIPkid requires that the teacher applicant has a 4-year University degree in any field. You should also be of legal working age.
This is an online job so you naturally have to meet its technical requirements.
For the teaching device, you must have a desktop computer, a laptop, a MacBook, an iPad or a Microsoft Surface. They do not allow the use of Chromebook.
Your device should have at least an Intel i5 processor and 8GB RAM. You may use any of the operating systems: for Windows - 7, 8 and 10 or MAC OS 10.X or higher. The recommended internet is a wired high-speed connection of at least 25 Mbps. This is where you might have second thoughts about teaching online. A fast and reliable wired connection is necessary when you are teaching online. It can annoy both you and your students when you are in the middle of a class and the internet suddenly acts up, which is very common with wireless internet connections, especially when it is windy or it is raining in your area of residence.
Aside from your computer, you need to have a webcam with a minimum resolution of 2 megapixels. You should have a noise-canceling headset, so your students will hear you.
Other requirements are accessories and tools that will help facilitate your class. In the video above, you saw the VIPkid teacher set up her teaching props such as her white board. You might need some virtual stickers, sound effects and animations that will help provide a fun learning atmosphere for children. It will help if you set up a workstation inside a quiet and distraction-free room.
Although classes are online, you still need to prepare the area in your house where you plan to have your classes. Again in the video above, the lady setup her classroom in her living room. Before her classes start, she placed a map and a board on the wall to serve as a suitable backdrop.
Remember that your students are kids and you could attract their attention by using vibrant, yet educational and professional background instead of the usual white background.
You should have a proper lighting too so that your background will appear clear to the students. VIPkid recommends you to use a selfie ring that will eliminate shadows. You may also use a clear white or blue light bulb.
How To Apply/Join
It is free to apply at VIPkid. The application process shown in Figure 3 is also simple.
When you visit the homepage of VIPkid, you will see a "Become a Teacher" button at the top right corner. When you click this button, a pop-up window will appear wherein you will provide your email address and set up a password. You may also sign up via Facebook or Google. Submitting the details by clicking on the "Get Started" button will lead you to https://www.vipkid.com/tr/basicinfo.
Here, you must provide your basic info such as first name, last name, gender, and country. For the country, there are many options. I thought VIPkid would only allow those from Canada and the US to register, but my country is in the drop-down options for the country. The next page is where you will enter your contact number and time zone. On the succeeding pages, you must tell about your teaching experience and if you have ever taught for 10 hours a week on average. You will need to tell if you have taught inside a K-12 classroom in Canada or US.
There is also a part where you could let them know why you are interested to teach at VIPkid, although this part is optional. After submitting all these details, wait for an email notification regarding the status of your application.
I tried signing up using my Gmail account. I have some teaching experience in an actual classroom, but not in an online English class, so I honestly said I have no significant experience in this field. This is the probable reason my application got rejected by VIPkid. In the message I received, they did not state the exact reason. They only wrote that based on the information I sent them, they deemed that I do not have the eligibility to teach at VIPkid.
If ever your credentials are acceptable to VIPkid, you can read from Figure 3 that you will review some materials and then do a short teaching demo to show your skills. You will also do a mock class with an actual VIPkid teacher. Then, you will sign the contract and begin to teach. In the FAQ section, it says that after completing the form (and likely after receiving an email saying you got accepted) you will book for a recorded interview. This interview is the demo itself.
As mentioned earlier, the more hours you can teach, the higher your potential earnings will be. You will receive your payment per class that you teach so more classes mean more money.
The base pay per class is $7-9 with each class lasting up to 25 minutes. Yet, base pay has its own determining factors like demo lessons, your teaching qualifications and your experience. Thus, you could earn $14-18 from your base pay.
Your potential earnings may increase when you receive more incentives from other means such as referrals so a VIPkid teacher’s hourly rate could be $15-22.
You may set when to receive your payment (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly). They send money via bank transfer or PayPal. You may install the VIPkid Teach App on your device for many useful features such as keeping track of your earnings.
Look at the figure below for more details on the work schedule of a VIPkid teacher.
The contract you will sign with VIPkid is good for 6 months but there is no minimum number of hours to meet so you can work anytime you like according to your preferred schedule. Through the VIPkid Teach app, you may set up your available teaching time. Each live class has a duration of 25 minutes.
Still, if you like to make the most out of this opportunity, especially during this time of a pandemic, consider teaching on the peak twice from 6-9 PM Beijing time when teachers get the highest number of bookings. Chinese students rarely take classes on Chinese holidays like Lunar New Year. If there is no minimum amount of hours to teach, there is also no maximum number of hours imposed by VIPkid.
One must have a realistic expectation from this job. After all, the employment status of an English tutor at VIPkid is that of an independent contractor and not a full-time employee. Do not expect that there will be a lot of bookings at all times. You will compete with thousands of other teachers too. When you have just started teaching, it is also natural that you might not have a lot of classes but you could gain more bookings as you invest more effort and time into it.
You need to have a contingency plan in case you hardly get any bookings to earn money from. Look for other online jobs to apply to. Since you are teaching English online, you may look at other similar platforms. You may also check out other websites where you can teach other subjects and fields of interests online.You may check out becoming an affiliate marketer among many other ways to make money through the internet.
Benefits / Bonus/ Increase/ Training Provided
I think the benefit from being a VIPkid English teacher is that you need not spend time on prep work, except for setting up your homework station before classes start. VIPkid prepares the materials and the curriculum which you can preview ahead of your teaching hours. There are a lot of resources from VIPkid that you can use for your teaching career. There are also different ways to increase your earnings, such as through referrals.
Overall, I think VIPkid is a superb choice of online gig for people who are eligible. If you have a teaching background, and the passion for and patience with kids, this could be a good sideline to check out, particularly during these times of crisis.