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Back at the end of 2017, I discovered this awesome company called VIPKID. One of my Facebook friends posted about this great job she had that allowed her to work from home. Bingo! I was looking around for jobs at the time, and this checked all the boxes. She was someone I trusted, so I decided it couldn’t be a scam. I decided to apply. As of October, I will have officially been with the company for a full two years. As a stay at home mom, I can’t recommend this company enough. They have been a delight to work for, and they allow me to work around my schedule. When I started, I had a TON of questions about this company. Therefore, it’s no surprise that other people have the same questions! I’ve complied a list of questions I get asked the most that I hope will help you on your own journey if you’re contemplating working from home.
What Is VIPKID?
VIPKID is a Chinese based company that hires native English, American speakers to tutor Chinese children in English. VIPKID is set up as a reverse classroom; they study first, and then you teach and review what they’ve already studied. This is strictly an online classroom. The powerpoint lesson is displayed in the middle of the screen, and then you and the student are at the top and can see each other. The slides are interactive, and you can write on them. VIPKID does all the lesson planning, and they give you tips for each slide discussing how/what to teach.
Do I Need a Degree?
Yes. A bachelor’s degree is required, and they’re pretty strict on this. However, you don’t need a degree in teaching. All that’s required is a four year degree in any field. They do require that you have teaching experience somewhere. When I applied, I used my student teaching and Sunday school experience on my resume.
How Do I Get Hired?
Once you’ve decided you want to apply, the first step is to simply, well, apply! It’s a short form at the beginning, and they’re basically making sure you’re qualified before they pursue you any further. If you pass this step, they ask you to set up your first interview. This interview is with a staff member in China. They’re basically checking to make sure you have basic teaching skills, a good personality, and your internet can stably connect to China. After you pass this interview, you have your BIG interview called your “mock class.” They send you two lessons, and they ask you to study and prepare. You then set a date and time with VIPKID, and they set you up with an American teacher. You then teach your lesson to the American teacher, and they evaluate your teaching skills. They give you two lessons. They give you a lower level and a higher level, and they check to see where your teaching skills are strongest. This determines the levels you can teach with VIPKID.
If you do well on all these interviews, they email you letting you know you’ve been hired along with your pay rate. Now, I applied in the fall of 2017, so a few things may have changed since then. But, this was my experience.
When Do I Work?
Remember I mentioned that this is a Chinese based company? The kids go to school all day, and then they take lessons with you in the evenings. So, you’re working off of Beijing time. I’m in Texas, so I’m in the Central time zone. Therefore, they are thirteen hours ahead of me (note: they don’t practice daylight savings so things change with the time change). The teaching hours are early for us but late for them. I typically teach from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. This actually works to my advantage because it allows me to teach while the kids are still asleep and Paul is home. VIPKID asks that you open up your schedule two weeks in advance, and that will allow your students to book with you. There are no requirements as to how much or how little you work. You’re a contractor, so that is up to you. Classes are 25 minutes each, and payment is per class.
What Do I Need?
One of the things that really got me hooked on this job was the minimal amount of required equipment. The two most important things you need are a good, working computer with a camera and fast, stable internet. Though a headset is not required, it’s highly recommended. It makes your classes a higher quality, and it looks professional. I probably spent about $25 on mine. This is the headset I bought. Outside of these, I would just recommend a few teaching materials. Some teachers go all out, but I’m pretty minimalistic. I would recommend at least purchasing some alphabet flashcards, number flashcards, and a whiteboard.
How Much Does It Pay?
This is indeed the granddaddy of all questions! You don’t want to do work that’s not worth your time, and I totally get that. This isn’t one of those jobs. Let me explain how payment works. Ok, so remember that mock interview? You want to do well on that because that determines your base pay. Your base pay is how much you are guaranteed to make per class. VIPKID then offers several incentives. After so many classes in a month (I believe 35), you receive an extra dollar per class simply for showing up on time. Bargain! I wish all jobs worked like this. Then, after 50 classes, you get an extra dollar per class for finishing your classes. So, let’s do a simple math equation here to determine pay per hour.
(base pay + participation incentive + finished class incentive) x 2 = hourly pay
Remember, pay is per class, not hour. The above equation determines your pay per class and is multiplied by two to determine your hourly rate. VIPKID states on their website that their minimum pay is $14 per hour and goes up to $22 per hour. So, average pay is about $18 per hour.
And there you have it! I can’t tell you how much I love working for this company, and I find it a great privilege to be able to work for them. As always, there are probably five other posts that could be written about this, but here’s a pretty good start if you’re interested. If you’re interested in applying, I’d appreciate it if you’d use my link!
Have other questions I didn’t answer? Ask me!