Learning English online is becoming very popular for those who are seeking to master it as a second language and many are starting at a very young age. This has created opportunities for aspiring teachers to venture into the fun world of virtual classrooms.
In today’s post, I’ll be talking about how to make money with VIPKid and turning it into a potential online tutoring business.
What Is VIPKid
Founded in 2014, VIPKid is an education technology company that helps Chinese children (from China) improve their English proficiency skills under the guidance of native-speaking teachers. The curriculum is equivalent to the elementary school level in North America and it’s only catered for kids between the age of 4 to 12 years old.
Classes are held between Monday to Saturday (Beijing Time) and each session will last for about 25 minutes. Parents who are interested will be in charge of signing up their kids for the program. If the chosen tutor is you, you would log into the teaching portal at the specific time and date to connect with the students.
How Much Can You Earn
A tutor’s earning is made up of base pay and incentives. Depending on your credentials and experience, the base pay is between $7-9 for every session carried out. By just showing up, you’d get $1 per class and if you can complete more than 45 classes in a month, you’d get an additional $1.
Meanwhile, tutors who accept short notice classes within 2 to 24 hours in advance, get an additional $2. If a new student decided to sign up for the VIPKid program after a trial session with you, that would be another $5 bonus. Payments are made monthly and income taxes are applicable depending on which state you are coming from.
Assuming you can teach between 15 to 20 hours per week, earning an average of $2k per month is totally doable. That’s not bad for a part-time wage. To date, there are about 800,000 active students and over 30,000 tutors on the platform so there’s more than enough job demand to keep everyone busy for a while.
What Is The Requirement
Unlike teaching in physical classes, certain aspects of the job are quite loose when it comes to tutoring on VIPKid. It’s good to know that you aren’t required to speak any Mandarin language or liaise with the parents. In fact, it’s not even necessary to have TEFL or TESOL in order to be qualified.
What you do need however are these;
- Must be a US or Canadian citizen who speaks English as your mother tongue.
- Have a college degree in any field – law, math, photography, journalism – those will do too!
- Have at least 1 year of teaching experience
- Must be able to commit for a minimum of 7.5 hours per week for at least 6 months.
- Able to access high-speed internet and comfortable communicating through video/audio recordings.
If you fit into the minimum requirements, proceed to the next steps.
How to Apply
You can apply to become a VIPKid Tutor at any time of the year and the 5-step process usually takes about a week or two to complete. The first thing to do is to submit your resume online, followed by a 1-on-1 or recorded interview that lasts for about 30 minutes.
After a brief introduction to the teaching platform, you are expected to conduct a mock class to be evaluated based on certain teaching criteria. Among the qualities, they are looking for is your ability to;
- Perform physical response and demonstration skills.
- Use proper and easy to understand English with a natural tone.
- Display a professional teaching attitude.
- Use props to make classes creative and engaging.
- Manage classes in terms of planning and timing.
- Adhere to the learning objectives of the curriculum provided.
- and so forth…
If you passed the interviews and all, you’d sign the contract and upload all the necessary documents. Once qualified, you will get access to the teaching dashboard, schedule your availability and accept class bookings.
While there’s no application fee involved, it’s your responsibility to get your own computer, headset, and whatever teaching props deemed necessary. The more well-prepared you are with these tools and equipment, the better the interaction you’d create for everyone. So that’s something to keep in mind.
As you would imagine, teaching English online comes with some perks that make this job increasingly popular with the tech-savvy generation.
- Firstly, you get to choose your own working hours and since there’s no maximum limit (at least that’s the case for now), you can commit to as many hours as you like. It’s a great idea for generating extra income during the summer months.
- And because the job is remote in nature, you can literally work from anywhere without the need to commute. Stay at home moms will find this work opportunity accommodating as well as those who are looking to earn some extra money while traveling cheap.
- VIPKid has all the curriculums figured out so to achieve the teaching goals for a particular course, you just need to follow the lesson plans and instructions provided. The best part is, each class only lasts for 25 minutes and there is no grading work is required – yay!
- Also, there’s no need to promote yourself to get students to sign-ups. The VIPKid teaching portal is linked to the student site based in China which has its own system to acquire new subscribers. If your profile is captivating enough, you are bound to receive bookings from their large clientele base.
- Given the flexible space and minimal startup cost, the job can serve as a good stepping stone to see if you like teaching foreign kids as a career in real life or not. If you enjoy the cultural interaction, this may be the right job for you.
- From what I’ve read so far, the company pays tutors promptly on a monthly basis so the platform is legit in every way.
Having said all that, the platform isn’t entirely perfect either. Here are some things worth knowing before venturing too far in;
- Classes are booked 2 weeks in advance which makes it rather difficult to do last-minute changes on your side. In case an emergency prompted a class cancellation, this could potentially affect your ratings and put your online reputation at risk.
- The difference in time zone also means you are likely going to work at odd hours at your local time in the US or Canada. If you have a full-time job, managing the schedule can be challenging unless you are willing to sacrifice sleep and tutor online into the wee hours of the morning.
- When it comes to teaching English as a foreign language, the VIPKid’s rate isn’t exactly the highest in the market. For example, Magic Ears pays between $22 to $26 per hour, Say ABC pays $19 per 40-minute class and with iTalki, you get to set your own rate. So go through the requirements and some reviews to see which may suit you better.
- In case you are wondering about pay raise, yes, the program does cater to that but here’s the thing. The increase is only 50 cents on top of the base rate, granted you meet the demanding requirements to be qualified for the raise in the first place. It’s pretty little, but cumulatively, it could be a lot – depending on how you see it.
- And just like what you would find with gig services, whatever you earn from VIPKid is subjected to taxation. You don’t actually get to keep all the profits – sadly – and it’s your responsibility to declare the income when the time comes. Strict reminder – failing to do so will put you into legal troubles.
Take Your Side Hustle a Notch Higher
So, is that all there is to teaching with VIPKids? Not really. You see, there’s another reason why VIPKid is a lot more popular than other teaching platforms. Anyone who has experience teaching with the company is sharing their stories on blogs and YouTube videos, encouraging others to join as a tutor as well.
When someone signs up through your unique link, pass the interview and teach their first class, you’ll receive a referral bonus. There’s no fixed amount to what the sum maybe because the incentive changes periodically, but one thing for sure, it’s there.
For example, when someone searches for a keyphrase ‘teach for VIPKid’, they are presented with all this information. Imagine if one of the videos or blogs on the first page of Google belongs to you – wouldn’t it be nice to convert all the traffic and views into potential/successful teachers?
In fact, if you Google for VIPKid affiliate program, you would find a dedicated page explaining the entire process. That means you can earn from affiliate commissions rather than just delivering classes. It’s a great way to grow a teaching business online if you plan to work remotely for a much longer period of time.
This is done mostly through content marketing where you could share details about the program application, pros, and cons, how to set up teaching props and proof of income (if you are comfortable showing that).
Of course, this would mean more work time in front of the PC, but hey, if it diversifies your income, why not, right? If you are interested to learn more about how to make money with VIPKid through affiliate marketing, check out my recommended entrepreneurship platform here. It has got all the tools and training to help you get started.