Teach with VIPKid

Click the picture to apply to teach with VIPKid!

What is VIPKID?

VIPKID is a Chinese company that pairs North American English teachers with children, ages 4-14, for online English classes. The children are mostly from China but they are expanding to other countries. The lessons are 25- minutes long, already written and are taught one-on-one. They have their own platform similar to Skype or Zoom where you can see the student and they can see you and you can both see and interact with the teaching material. There is very little planning on your part other than being familiar with the slides and gathering a few props.

The company started in 2013 and has seen huge growth since then so they need more teachers. VIPKID has been featured in Forbes and several other business platforms as a top online work from home opportunity.

Who is a good fit as a VIPKID teacher?

VIPKID is looking for all kinds of teachers. They want young and old, men and women, any race, blonde and bubbly 20-somethings and experienced senior citizens! You do not need to speak Mandarin or be a certified teacher. It’s perfect for:

  • teachers needing extra income
  • retired teachers who still love teaching
  • teachers who are tired of the bureaucracy of public schools
  • homeschool parents
  • stay-at-home parents
  • college graduates waiting for the perfect job
  • those who like to travel but still need to work
  • anyone who loves children and loves to teach
  • anyone who likes to work from home in their PJs

Why use Penny’s link to apply with VIPKid?

When you use my link, you become my referral. VIPKid will pay me a referral fee for helping you through the process. There is never a charge to you for this help. As my referral you get access to my exclusive Hiring Bootcamp which has in-depth training documents, and on-demand video coaching that are only available to my referrals. If you would like this help, please use this link to apply: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=7151621&refersourceid=a01

If you’ve already applied and did not use a referral code or link from someone else, I can still help you with the hiring process if you add me as your referring teacher. You can do so by going on the VIPKID website from a computer (not a phone or tablet) and clicking on “My Account” in the top right corner. If it says, “Add Referring Teacher,” please enter code PENNY0008 (those are zeroes).

If you don’t have the option to add it or there is another name there and they are not helping you or you don’t know how to get in touch with them, please log out of VIPKid, clear your browser history, and start a new application with my link. Use a different email address with this new application.

Be sure to contact me here on the website or email me at teacherpennyvipkid@gmail.com once you apply. I cannot see your email address so I have no way to keep in touch and help you unless you contact me!

Join my Facebook Group for more support in the hiring process.
VIPKid Teachers Wanted.

How much are you paid?

We are paid a base rate per 25-minute class. New teachers are starting at $7.50 per 25-minute class ($15 an hour). Then, there are bonuses/incentives on top of that.

As a new teacher, you will be in the tiered incentive program. You start out in Tier 1 until you’ve taught 79 classes. The following month, you would move to Tier 2. Once you reach 200 classes you move to Tier 3 in your next month. See the left side of the following chart for the tiers. The more classes you teach the higher your tier.

Then you receive an incentive based on how many classes you teach in any particular month. The first 20 classes you teach in a month will receive your base pay plus $.80. Classes 21-40 would receive your base pay plus $1.20. The more classes you teach in that month, the higher your incentive goes. See the right side of the chart above to see how each level of incentive gets more and more incentive.

Example: A beginning Tier 1 teacher, making $7.50 base pay and teaching 90 classes this month.

Classes taught Base Pay Incentive Total
Classes 1-20 $7.50 x 20 = $150 $ .80 x 20 = $16.00 $166
Classes 21-40 $7.50 x 20 = $150 $1.20 x 20 = $24.00 $174
Classes 41-60 $7.50 x 20 = $150 $1.60 x 20 = $32.00 $182
Classes 61-90 $7.50 x 30 = $225 $1.70 x 30 = $51 $276

Grand Total $798
Average of $8.86 per class or $17.72 per hour. Not bad for teaching from home in your PJ pants!

The more classes you teach, the higher your incentive level would be and the more you would make. The above example is for 45 hours of teaching, just over 11 hours a week.

Example of a Tier 5 teacher that finished 118 classes in a month.

Other Bonuses

You can also receive these bonuses.

  • Short Notice Booking Bonus – if a class is booked within 24 hours of the start time, you receive a $2 bonus.
  • If you teach a trial class and the student signs up for lessons, you get $5.
  • Tell your friends about VIPKID and help them get hired and receive a $100 bonus when they teach their first class.

You can choose to be paid weekly, bi-weekly or once a month. Our paychecks are direct deposited into our accounts from a bank in California or they can be credited to Paypal.

What about taxes?

We are considered contract employees and are issued 1099 forms to file our taxes as self-employed (USA residents). They do not withhold any taxes from our checks. Most teachers save a portion of their paychecks each month and pay estimated quarterly taxes. You will need to consult a CPA to know how much you should pay.

Being self-employed, you can take deductions for expenses, including computers, headsets, props, internet, cell phone, a portion of your mortgage or rent and utilities, etc.

What is the Hiring Process?

The VIPKid hiring process can seem intimidating and complicated. It also changes frequently but I keep up with all those changes!

There are 4 basic steps.
1. Application
2. Interview/Demo
3. Certification Center
4. Contract Stage

I give a simple explanation for each stage below. For more detailed help, use my link to apply and you will get access to the Hiring Bootcamp with tutorials, videos, in-depth guides and online video coaching sessions.

1. Application
The application checks to make sure you meet the basic requirements to teach for VIPKid. You must:

  • a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in any field
  • at least one year of experience with children (professional or volunteer, including teaching, babysitting, coaching, church, community groups, homeschool, etc.)
  • legally eligible to work in the US or Canada. You can live anywhere but must be eligible to work here.
  • a neutral, North American accent.
  • a desktop or laptop computer (not a Chromebook) with high-speed internet (preferably wired or very strong WIFI), a webcam, and headset with a microphone. Your internet speed should be 20 mbps download minimum. You can teach from an iPad but must do the hiring process on a computer.
  • a place to teach with a simple educational background. Be creative here. Your “classroom” might be in a closet, basement, corner or even be portable.
  • lots of energy and patience!

Filling out the application:
The application is pretty simple. Click here to start the application. You’ll enter an email address, password, phone number, and then answer a few simple questions. You must indicate that you have a bachelor’s degree, 1 year or more of experience with children, and that you are legally eligible to work in the US or Canada.

NOTE FOR TEACHERS FROM CALIFORNIA: Because of recent changes in the California law reclassifying many independent contractors as employees, VIPKid is no longer hiring teachers whose address is in California. If you have a non-California address you can use legally, use that.

Tips for the application:

  • Use your legal name for tax purposes, not a nickname.
  • You must have at least a bachelor’s degree but it can be in any field. You will have to show proof of this (diploma or transcript) once you are hired. If you are within a few weeks of having your degree, say that you have it.
  • You must indicate that you have 1 year or more of experience with children (teaching, tutoring, babysitting, homeschool, church, coaching, etc.). If you choose 0-6 months or 6-12 months, you will fail the initial application.
  • Double check your time zone as they use that to schedule everything and it must be correct. If it asks for a city from a drop down list and yours is not listed, choose the closest one to you to just get the time zone correct.
  • You do not have to be a certified teacher but it’s great if you are.
  • You must be most fluent in English. They prefer the North American accent.
  • You must indicate that you are legally eligible to work in the US or Canada. You can live anywhere but must be eligible to work here.

For one-on-one help through the process and access to my exclusive Hiring Bootcamp, please use this link to apply: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=7151621&refersourceid=a01

Be sure to contact me here on the website or email me at teacherpennyvipkid@gmail.com once you apply. I cannot see your email address so I have no way to keep in touch and help you unless you contact me!

2. Interview Stage
Once you pass the basic information, VIPKid will begin sending you lots of emails, phone calls, texts, smoke signals, etc. pushing you to complete a demo immediately. Don’t do it yet! This is not a normal interview. You must teach a simple demo class and you must use their teaching style to do that. You will need to set up a simple classroom background, prepare some props and have the appropriate equipment.

You have 2 choices for this step: 
1. Recorded Introduction and Demo Lesson – You’ll record an introduction of yourself and then teach a 5-6 minute lesson called “Me, Myself, and I.” This is done on the VIPKid website on a computer.
2. Smart Demo – This interview is done completely on your smartphone on the VIPKID Teach App. It has some short videos for you to watch on the VIPKid teaching style, a 5 question quiz on the videos and then you record yourself on the phone teaching one slide for 2:30.

I recommend the Smart Demo. They are offering the same salary to all beginning teachers now, regardless of the interview you do, so do the easiest one, the Smart Demo. It only has you teach one slide so you can jump right in and do it!

There are other videos on my YouTube channel to help you prepare for the different interview options but there is more detailed help in the Hiring Bootcamp that is only accessible if you use my link to apply. Click here to apply with my link.

Once you pass this step, you will move to the Certification Center.

3. Certification Center 
In this stage you will there is a lot of information for you to read, videos to watch, and an online coaching session from VIPKid to learn more about the company and teaching style. I also have lots of coaching information in the Bootcamp.

They will give you 2 10-minute lessons to prepare but you will only teach one of them. Both of the lessons will be for a Lower Level student (Level 2 or 3, about 5-7 years old). When you’re ready, you’ll schedule a 30 minute mock class with another VIPKid teacher who will evaluate your teaching. They’ll tell you which lesson to teach and then pretend to be your student.

If you don’t pass your first time, study a little more and try again until you pass. You can take the mock class as many times as you need to. In fact, almost everyone has to take the mock class multiple times. It is seen as practice to help you understand the VIPKid teaching style.

4. Contract Phase and 
Start Teaching!
Once you pass the mock class in the Certification Center, you are hired to teach level 2 and 3 classes and you move to the contract stage. You will be able to add other levels of certification after you sign your contract.

You will begin by uploading your documents 
– ID (driver’s license or passport)
– Proof of degree (transcript or picture of your diploma)
– Scan or pic of any licenses or certificates that apply (teaching, ESL, TESOL, etc.)
– Proof of name change (wedding invitation, license or divorce decree) if your name on your degree is different than your current name.
– Fill out a form authorizing a background check. You need your SSN for this.
– 3 pictures and a 15-60 second video for the parents 
– Fill out a W-9 tax form online.

After all that is uploaded, it will take about 2-3 weeks for it be approved. Then, you can sign your contract, open up your time slots, and start teaching!

It may take a little bit to get booked, but they will come. I got my first booking within 5 days and have taught 30-40 classes a week since then. Some people get booked immediately and some it takes a while. I can give you some tips on how to get booked quicker.

Sound complicated? Need some help? Use my link to apply or add my code.

Do you need to be a certified teacher or certified in ESL?

No, you don’t need to be a certified or licensed teacher and you don’t need to have ESL certification, but they love it if you are!

Having a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification looks really good on your application and will help you get bookings once you start.

You can take an online TESOL certification course through this link for less than $20. It says it is a 120 hour course but most people do it in a few hours. When you do your first interview, tell them that you have this ESL certification. You will need to have completed the course and have the certificate by the time you finish the process and upload your documents.

Please note that this is an affiliate link and I receive a couple of bucks from you purchasing the course.


The Chinese government passed a law that all teachers, even online teachers, must have a bachelor’s degree and be certified. To satisfy this requirement, VIPKID partnered with TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). They are the leading certification agency for ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers. They created a TESOL certification specifically for VIPKID.

If you are not a certified teacher or you don’t have an ESL certification like I talked about above, you will complete this certification as a part of the contract phase. It will take a few hours.

Even if you are a certified teacher or have ESL certification of some kind, you won’t be required to do the VIPKid TESOL, but I recommend you do it anyway. It is more visible on your profile that the parents see than any other certification. The parents expect you to have that certification. It’s great training and really helps you understand how language is acquired. It will also help you get booked faster. If you already have another certification, you will be able to add the VIPKid TESOL after you sign your contract.

What tech equipment do I need and how do I set up my classroom?

What hours do you teach? How about taking time off?

We can teach any time between 8:30 A.M. and 10 P.M. in Beijing. That is 7:30 P.M. to 9 A.M. Eastern in Winter, 8:30 P.M. to 10 A.M. in Summer. The best times to get booked are evenings for them, early mornings for us. Weekends for us in North America, all night Friday and Saturday, are also great times to get bookings. Summers and holidays can also get great bookings since the kids are out of school and take lessons all day. Students in mainland China cannot take class after 9 P.M. BJT so our last 2 slots do not book very well. They can be booked by those outside of China or with trial students.

There are no minimums and you control your times available completely. You can teach as little or as much as you want. You open the slots that you want to be available. If you want to go on vacation, just don’t open slots.

How long does the hiring process take?

The hiring process time is really up to you! I’ve had people do it in as little as 3 days and some take months between steps. They won’t deactivate you, so do the next step when you are ready.

But don’t take too long or you will talk yourself out of it!

Penny’s YouTube Channel

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