If you’re Googling VIPKID it’s probably because you’ve seen it in an advertisement, a friend told you about it or you saw a video about it on YouTube. So, you’re probably trying to find a way to make more money as a
- digital nomad
- stay at home parent
- aspiring small business owner
I’m here to tell you that VIPKID is a great option for all of those professions. I’ve been part of the online teaching community since 2016 and I’ve met people who identify with each one of the options listed above.
This job benefits so many people from all walks of life and the vast majority find fulfillment teaching Online because the work is rewarding and fun!
Teaching at VIPKID is fun and rewarding!
Some of the comments I’ve heard from teachers in our Online community include:
- This is the best job in the world!
- I can’t believe I get to wake up and teach students on the other side of the world everyday!
- Learning about Chinese culture has helped me become a better ESL teacher.
- I never thought I’d like this job, let alone love it!
- How do I make this a full-time gig?
My VIPKID Journey
Personally, I started working at VIPKID when I quit my brick and mortar teaching job in 2016. I didn’t have another job lined up. Luckily, I found VIPKID on Indeed.com. At the time I wondered if it was a hoax, but I figured I’d test it out.
When I applied and had the interview I knew they had to be serious because of the questions they were asking. Plus, my second interview was with a down-to-Earth Canadian teacher. VIPKID requires you to do at least one certification. I’ll talk more about certifications below, but getting a VIPKID certification means you can teach a specific English level such as Level 2 and 3. VIPKID is really serious about preparing their teachers. They have a specific style they want everyone to get accustomed to before you have your first class. Check out my video about it.
Even though the application process is very in depth, it’s well worth it. While it is long and tedious in the moment, you end up being prepared in the end.
Despite being an experienced ESL teacher, I remember thinking, will I get rejected? By no means am I trying to scare you away from applying. I’m actually telling you this so you know that thought is natural.
Remember that different cultures have a different way of doing things. The Chinese culture follows procedures by the book. Being that VIPKID has a specific teaching style, they want you to learn it before you start working at their company. I’ll send you the exact rubric you’ll need if you want. Just add your name and e-mail below. If you don’t see the form, that means you already signed up.
There’s an assumption that in order to be a VIPKID teacher you have to mimic the style VIPKID YouTubers have, but that’s not true save for when you’re going through the application process.
When you’re going through the application process at VIPKID, you do have to follow an exact teaching style which includes TPR (click here if you don’t know what that means), modeling, using props, using rewards, and so on. However, once you get past the interview and start teaching you can use your own style.
The most important thing about being a VIPKID teacher is that you:
- understand and appreciate ESL strategies (Don’t fret, if you’ve never taught ESL, I can help you with that!)
- are warm, compassionate and patient
- like kids
- like teaching
I’m not an elementary teacher, and when I saw some VIPKID teachers on YouTube, I thought that’s how I had to act in order to be successful at the company. Soon I realized that being myself was totally acceptable because not all students want the over-the-top, super enthusiastic teacher. As a former middle school teacher, that’s just not my style. As long as you connect with your students as a human being they will love you.
How do you connect with students? It’s the same way you connect with the people you care about. Show them that you’re interested in who they are. Laugh with them. Make them feel like they’re your numero uno. Do things that you know they’ll like.
This requires getting to know your students. Ask them what their favorite hobbies are. Find out what they do on weekends. See what you guys have in common. Share details about yourself and they’ll share details too. That way you’ll learn about them naturally. It not only makes your job as a teacher easier, but also fun and interesting.
I really do consider this the best job in the world. I get to make my own schedule, impact students on the other side of the globe, and I make more money than I do compared to when I was a brick and mortar teacher!
Online Part Time Jobs
I’m here to reassure you that VIPKID is a legit online part time job, I also want you to know that it’s one option out of hundreds of online schools. Online teaching is in the beginning stages so you do have to be careful about which online school you apply to. Due to the newness, a lot of companies pop up and then fail quickly. For that reason, it’s safer to work for companies that are reputable and have been around for at least a couple of years. Always do your research when applying.
Yes, VIPKID is more well-known due to their marketing, but there are other options. If you’re interested in them, click below to check out some of these companies:
I work at iTutorGroup and Gogokid as well. I’ve learned how to negotiate pay and work my way up to other positions such as training, lecture classes and being a part of company projects. You can hear more about how I did that in the video below.
VIPKID Application Process
It’ll take six steps to become a VIPKID teacher.
- Find a coach- I would be happy to be your coach. All you have to do is use my referral link and code (NICOL0711).
- Apply Online- be sure to say you’ve worked with kids in some capacity before or else you’ll fail this step
- Interview Options: Live Interview – Recorded Demo – Smart Demo (on your phone) – Coaching Day (in person)
- Get Certified to Teach Different Levels of English
- Possible VIPKID TESOL Certification (You might be able to bypass this if you already have an ESL certification). If not, I have a $19 certificate you can purchase when you click here (this is an affiliate link).
- Submit Your Paperwork and Teach Your First Class
I highly recommend having a nice teacher background for your interview. It makes you stand out that much more! Even if you don’t want to invest in the background for your interview, I would still recommend the map pictured below once you’ve made enough money to invest in your online classroom resources. I love this map because it’s cute, and low-maintenance. I bought the largest size with grommets. It works SO well for me.
If you’ve looked up VIPKID reviews, you’ve probably heard mostly positive comments, but like any company there are some cons. Let’s discuss both pros and cons.
- Make your own schedule
- You make a life-long impact on students’ lives by teaching them a skill they can use that will likely boost their career.
- Learn about Chinese culture and your students and parents get to learn about Western culture
- Earn anywhere from an extra few hundred bucks a month to six figures with this job
- Opportunities for growth at the company ranging from recruiting to being a mentor or trainer
- Some teachers struggle to get booked
- Odd hours on most days except for Friday and Saturday evening and early morning hours if you’re a morning person
- The way business is done in China is different than the way business is done in the West, but if you keep an open mind it’s manageable because essentially you are your own boss
- A long application process
In terms of the cons, I can help you get booked and you don’t have to work odd hours if your schedule allows for it. However, some people love working the VIPKID midnight shift. If that’s something you’re curious about, read this blog post.
Personally, I’ve never woken up earlier than 5:00 am to teach online. When I started I wasn’t a morning person, but oddly enough I’m becoming one. It’s not because of online teaching though. I actually started a morning routine that’s motivating me to get up early everyday. A new blog post will be coming soon about that if you’re interested. For now, let’s stick to VIPKID! 😄
You might be more curious about how to balance VIPKID with being a mom or having a full-time job. I had another teacher write a guest post about balancing family with being a VIPKID teacher. Check it out here.
During the application process you will be asked to get VIPKID Certifications. This means you will be qualified to teaching various English levels ranging from one to five. As you teach more classes you’ll be qualified to teach even higher levels.
Level 2/3 certification qualifies you to teach students who are a Level 2 or 3 in English, which are beginners.
Level 4/5 are intermediate. You can learn more about the VIPKID certifications on my YouTube channel
I highly recommend getting certified for both 2/3 and 4/5 because that will increase your chances of getting booked. It does take time to get certified and the company will send you e-mails to try to sign your contract, but don’t do it! Wait until you get all the VIPKID certifications you can get before you start teaching.
I practiced 3 to 5 times for each certification, but it was SO worth it. If you want more tips about the application process, check out this post.
VIPKID Intro Video
Most importantly, you will have to make an introduction video so students and parents can decide if they want to book you for a class.
You don’t have to make the video too fancy. Just show a little of your teaching, tell them who you are and why students would want to have a class with you.
My video is fairly simple and you can check it you below.
Are you ready to start being your own boss?
Applying to VIPKID genuinely was the best decision I ever made in my teaching career because I am my own boss and I make more money than I did as a brick and mortar teacher.
You, too, can make this a full-time job if that’s what you want. If you’re ready, don’t hesitate to start the best job in the world! No joke! It’s seriously the best job.
VIPKID Teacher Community
If you’re still undecided let me tell you one of my favorite aspects about VIPKID. They have one of the best online teacher communities because they offer in-person trainings for applicants, they do conferences, and they send weekly updates to teachers so you know everything that’s happening at the head office.
I attended the VIPKID Journey conference in Chicago and it was a blast. I got to meet so many other teachers, learn from experienced educators, and meet people from headquarters including the CEO Cindy Mi.
So if you want to make friends, impact students’ lives around the world, and have fun instead of working, then apply to VIPKID. You can join me by clicking here.