Have you heard of VIPKid yet? If you’ve ever looked into home-based job opportunities before, then chances are you’ve heard of Forbes #1 ranked work-from-home job. There are millions of people who are looking for work-from-home, flexible job opportunities, and teaching English online is one of the most popular.
So how is VIPKid? Is it worth it?
I got to have a front row seat to the VIP Kid experience, because my wife is a VIPKid teacher! My wife and I are professional bloggers, freelancers, and the owners of a Shopify/Etsy store, but when she first kicked her 9-5 job to the curb, and moved home, we weren’t sure how our income would be affected. VIPKid came well reviewed, so we decided to give it a shot!
Here’s my VIPKid Job Review!
5 out of 5 ★… For The Right Person…
VIPKid is an awesome opportunity. You can make your own hours, technically work as much or as little as you want, and supplement your income all while providing value and human connection to… frankly… some of the most adorable kids you’ll ever meet. Teaching can already be a deeply rewarding experience, but touching another culture on a daily basis, and seeing results, without the stifling drag of working a 9-5 position – it’s downright exciting!
Here’s the thing: this is a gig for teachers. If you love teaching, and you like kids, you can MASTER this! If you hate the idea of teaching, you’ll never even make it through the interview process.
It’s the perfect fit for the right person.
The starting pay with VIPKid will vary, depending on your experience, and education. You don’t need a degree in teaching, or extensive experience with kids to land a job with VIPKid! But the more relevant education and experience you have, the higher they start you on the pay grade.
My wife has a degree in intercultural studies/linguistics, and some experience with kids, and they started her at the $15-$19 range. The base pay is $15, you get an extra $1 for each session that you start and end on time (so an extra $2/hour if you’re punctual), and then another $2/hour if you teach 45 or more classes in a month. Since my wife is always on time, and teaches well over 45 lessons per month, her pay is at least $19/hour, not including other bonuses.
This easily adds an extra $1,520 per month to our income!
Not only did she start at $19, but if you stay with VIPKid for over 1 year you have the chance to get a pay increase. VIPKid teachers can make as much as $22/hour!
The Application Process
Here’s where it gets tough. VIPKid doesn’t accept every applicant. In fact, there’s a lot of competition for jobs with VIPKid. You’ll want to make sure that you prepare yourself for the interview process. Luckily, there are tons of YouTube videos online to teach you how to dominate your interview (like the one below).
VIPKid’s initial interview will be with one of their administrators. You’ll be asked to give a mock lesson (they provide all of the curriculum, just make sure you read the slides they provide), with another VIPKid teacher role playing as a student.
There’s no secret formula, or magic strategy, but these are some important things to remember:
1. The appearance of your classroom matters. Your classroom should be inviting, colorful, fun, but not distracting. Having pictures that you can use to help your students visualize new words is a huge +. So are maps and themes. Put some thought into the classroom behind you.
2. Make sure you have a good computer camera set up, test your sound equipment to make sure you can be heard, and experiment with lighting to make sure you’re clearly visible.
3. It’s recommended to use an ethernet cable in addition to your regular WiFi, to make sure your internet is reliable.
4. Speak deliberately, clearly, and don’t use slang or big words. Keep your audience in mind, and remember that many of these students have only had a couple lessons of English in their life. It’s not easy to pick up Chinese, so try to put yourself in their shoes, being just as unfamiliar with English.
5. Practice time management. It’s really important that you get through all of your slides within the 25 minute time frame!
Once VIPKid accepts you, there’s another challenge to face. But don’t let it scare you off! Because you’re technically self employed, and making your own schedule, you also have to land your own bookings. You start by creating a profile on VIPKid, and then make a small video to attract parents to book you for lessons.
When Renee first started with VIPKid, we were especially anxious about this part. What if no one booked her? What if we couldn’t land any classes? The weekend that we created her profile we only had 2 bookings by Sunday night.
We put together a fun video, gave it a good effort, made it as fun as possible from props to goofy accents, and held our breath.
When we woke up Monday morning, Renee had been booked by 21 parents. By her second week she was booked by 37. And she has a higher number of bookings every week. She now has more bookings than she can even keep up with, to the extent that we need to cut back on them just to have breathing room.
So don’t be afraid you won’t be able to get bookings! If you’re willing to bring energy and sincerity to this, and make a good intro video (very important), you’ll have no trouble getting booked.
The beauty of VIPKid, which my family enjoys, is the total freedom we have over our schedule. If we want to travel, or take time off, Renee can simply not book classes, or take her laptop with her and teach from anywhere.
You can be anywhere, and still make money.
The challenging part of the VIPKid hours is this… because your students are all from China, there’s a fairly significant time difference. As a result, the only times you can really book classes are early in the morning, or in the evenings. The prime times for booking classes are from 5 a.m. to 8:30 a.m, and then from 7:30 pm to about 11. So funky hours are to be expected! And if you’re not a morning person… well… it can get rough.
These can be difficult hours to manage, especially if you’re not used to waking up super early. Ultimately, you have to decide what you’re willing to do, how much you need the extra money from early classes, and when to book. But don’t expect VIPKid to be a conventional 9-5 job, even if you want it to be.
Working From Home With VIPKid
Our experience with VIPKid has been super positive! Renee enjoys her classes a million times more than any job she had ever worked before, and the freedom has allowed her to pursue her own business from the comfort of home.
If you’re someone whose job is full of stress, nasty people, or inflexible hours, the freedom of a side gig like VIPKid is a dream come true. It’s also perfect for business owners whose businesses are still small and young, and like some extra cash landing in their bank at the end of every month.
If you want to join VIPKid, you can apply right here! They’re always looking for teachers.
And feel free to ask me any questions. I can give you first hand tips!