VIPKID is a now mostly DORMANT site that used to enlist freelancers to teach English to Chinese kids
Expected pay: NA
Commissions & fees: NA
VIPKID Review -UPDATED 2/22/2023:
VIPKID was once a dominant player in teaching English to Chinese kids. But the Chinese government made tutoring sites like these illegal in late 2021. So VIPKID revamped and now teaches adults and learners in other countries. But the once vibrant business has dwindled. Pay is lower and opportunities have slowed to a trickle.
This site may eventually build back up, so we’ve maintained a neutral rating for the site. But, know that the jobs are highly limited. so you may want to limit the amount of time you spend on their application process. (See what their teachers say below.)
How it works
Teachers who want to sign up for this site fill out of a short form, detailing their educational background, teaching experience, etc. The second step of the process, is more time consuming. You’ll need to upload a video of you teaching a sample class, review the site’s curriculum, rules and participate in a second mock class with a VIPKID instructor.
Then, you’ll sign a 6 month teaching agreement and be able to accept classes.
The problem is that there are not a lot of classes available at this point. So it’s not clear whether the effort of going through this extensive application process is worthwhile.
And the site continues to take teacher applications, even though its current teaching staff complain there are few opportunities.
Classes on Beijing time
Classes are taught after dinner in Beijing, China, which puts them in the middle of the night for many people in the U.S.. If you live in Los Angeles, for instance, the peak weekday hours are between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The hours aren’t quite as tough if you’re on the East Coast, however. And this job may be just the ticket for parents who want to spend days with their own kids and don’t mind working at odd hours during the night.
That said, at this point, you might only be able to schedule one or two classes per night. At $7 to $9 per class, that might not be worth the early alarm.
The only substantial complaints about the company appear to be about technology and cancellations, which get you fined $10 per cancellation and can ultimately cause you to lose your position. Some cancellations appear to be caused by VIPKID technology, so the cancellation fee can feel particularly unfair.
Other issues: Teachers are also not guaranteed work. They’re chosen by the students and the students may be bigoted. African American teachers complain that they’re less likely to be chosen than white males.
Unlike normal teaching positions, you get very little additional pay for advanced degrees.
You can still tutor kids in English. But, at present, you’ll find better opportunity with Wyzant, AmazingTalker or iTalki.
What their teachers say (from Indeed) 2/2023-12/2022:
Good place to work. Students are limited now. You have to teach adults classes to make money. Little to no support and very strict 6 absences in 6 month policy.
LOVED working here except after china changed its laws it now is close to zero potential for bookings sadly. Hopefully things will turn around eventually.
I absolutely LOVED working as a teacher for VIPKID. The children were adorable and the curriculum was easy to use. I’m incredibly sad that China no longer allows foreign teachers. The relationships I build with my students are something I’ll never forget and always treasure.
Although they have a strict attendance policy and the early morning hours can be tough, it was a great work from home job. It is more difficult to get bookings now.
Currently there are not many students on their platform. It was a great place to work. Lots of professional development opportunities. The students are the best part of the job.
I loved working for this company! It was a great part time job. It’s unfortunate that the Chinese Government put an end to it. Once this happened I eventually lost all of my students and I never gained new ones. VIPKID says they have other students from other countries. But whenever I open up slots, I never get booked.
Still love it
Up incredibly early due to the time difference. You get up, get ready, feed and walk the dog, so he doesn’t bark while you are teaching, haha. Then you teach, do your post teaching admin duties and you are done for the day.
Since some governmental changes the work has decreased. Hopefully the plan is to expand globally and increase the student body, so the classes are as abundant as ever. As a whole, the work model, hours, professionalism and respectability are great. Communication with the company and company reputation have been good.
Was great; not now
This was a wonderful gig until the laws changed in China. I haven’ t been able to get any classes since then. The pay used to be much better too. I believe some teachers are still getting classes, but not me.
A few years ago, this could net you a consistent, tidy income. Then China’s government banned American teachers; overnight, bookings dried up. The company touted global classes but slashed per-class pay in half. You often have to work overnight or in the wee hours of the morning because you’re teaching in areas with a time difference of 12 hours or so. Bookings are also sporadic. Some people get decent bookings, others get none.
It was a great company to work for before the new laws passed in China. Now the pay is half of what it used to be per class and there are few students to teach. Not worth the time as a side hustle anymore let alone a full time job. The other teachers/tutors are great. Management is very passive aggressive and don’t like to inform the teachers/tutors of what is going on.
Pay has changed
Since the Ministry of Education made changes in policy, bookings are almost nonexistent. Before October 2022, I was very fulfilled in this job. Now, it barely makes any extra money. It is not a reliable income. I would love for policies to change back to the old ways, but probably isn’t going to happen.
Sadly since the government restrictions it’s not as great as it once was. The hours can be difficult if you work on the East Coast. It would be great if they were more transparent as to what the plans are for the future. Pay was great, but now everyone gets the same rate and it’s a lot less than what the going rate is.
I’ve worked for VIPKid now for over 2 years. It was wonderful for the first year before foreign teachers were no longer allowed in China. It was great money and had a great work/life balance. I loved the flexibility and extra money. Now there are a lot less students to teach. But my issue is with the pay and the support for teachers. The pay is not as good anymore, and there really is not a lot of room to advance. Since there are not as many students, you don’t get as many incentives for teaching more classes either. My biggest issue however, is with getting help from VIPKid if there is an issue. I taught a full 25 minute lesson and stayed an extra 10 minutes over, but because of technical issues, I was considered a no show and was charged $10. So, overall I missed out on $17 even though I taught the full class. They said there was nothing they could do.
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