First, I must preface that this is NOT a scam. My main source of income right now is teaching English online for a Chinese company called VIPKID. I work with them part-time, a few hours a day, to provide a stable income as a digital nomad. The money is enough to sustain my living in cheap countries like Thailand and Colombia, and leaves enough hours in the day to work on building my content marketing business. Teaching with VIPKID is a life saver for anyone just embarking on the digital nomad lifestyle because you can earn enough money for housing and food, but still have enough time to pursue your freelance business.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PAY!
I earn US$18/h as my base rate, and I am at the lowest end of the pay scale. If you are a better teacher than me, your base can be as high as US$22/h.
The company also has monthly incentive programs to boost your income above this. For example, they offer ‘trial’ classes for students considering the course. If you teach one of these classes and the student signs up to VIPKID, the company rewards you with an extra $5. I have on occasion received $16 for a 25-minute class where a trail student booked with short notice (also an extra $2) and then signed up full-time.
For the record, teacher’s are paid monthly around the 12th, by direct deposit into a chosen bank account. They even pay the wire transfer fee. I’ve always been paid correctly and on time.
OK, SO WHAT IS VIPKID?
VIPKID provides online English classes to a growing demand of Chinese students. Recent research notes that China’s online education market is estimated to grow at more than 50 per cent year on year to 160 billion yuan by 2020, so this is a very lucrative business to engage in right now. The company currently has over 10,000 teachers, but is planning to attract 20,000 North American teachers to serve an estimated 200,000 students by the end of 2017.
VIPKID itself was established in 2013. It now ranks #5 in Forbes 2017 list of best remote working companies. VIPKID has been written about in other reputable magazines including Bloomberg and South China Morning Post.
The company has a US$100 million backing in capital investments from big names, including NBA star Kobe Bryant, who took a mere five minutes to agree to invest in a stake: “It’s a no-brainer for me. We have to look for companies adding value to society, helping [children] learn and grow,” Bryan said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in August 2016.
WHAT ARE THE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS?
I can hear you saying ‘But I don’t have a TEFL teaching certificate!’ That’s ok, you don’t need one. They just require you to have the following:
- 1 school year of traditional teaching experience or the equivalent in mentoring, tutoring, or alternative education
- Eligibility to work in the US or Canada
- Bachelor’s degree in any field
- A stable internet connection and a laptop.
WHAT ARE THE HOURS?
One of the best parts about VIPKID is that you are hired as an independent contractor, therefore you can choose when and where you work. As VIPKID caters to students in China, the peak teaching times are Beijing evenings from 6pm to 10pm and all day on the weekends. Which can suck, depending on where in the world you are based! (My prime teaching hours in Arizona right now are 4am to 7am. But this works out great for me as I have the rest of the day to work on my freelance work). However, you get to choose which hours you want and which days. The booking system allows you to open up time slots that suit you. And holidays are no problem, just don’t open your booking slots. You can work as little as 2 hours a month or as much as 250, but I don’t recommend the later!
IS THERE A LOT OF LESSON PREP?
Nope. Absolutely none at all. All the lessons are created for you and are delivered through a dedicated online platform the company has developed. You simply log into your Internet based VIPKID profile (there is no software to download) and ‘enter your classroom’. Once in the classroom the system tells you which lesson to upload. It is recommended that you review the slide and prepare some props beforehand, but this takes only a few minutes. And after a while, you will teach some of the same lessons over and over again, so prep becomes nil.
WHAT ARE THE CLASSES LIKE?
The lessons are 25 minutes each with about 25 to 28 slides to get through. Each lesson has a ‘theme’ from ‘My Classroom’ to ‘How Animals Move’ to ‘Days of the Week. The system has three sections. The lesson slides are on the left take up 50%. In the middle 25% are two video chat screens with your student on top and you on the bottom. On the right 25% is a chat box to type comments to your student.’ On the bottom of each slide are instructions on how to ‘teach’ the slide. It is all very self-explanatory. After class, you need to write a little feedback about the student, but it doesn’t take long.
WHAT ARE THE STUDENTS LIKE?
Students range in ages from 4 to 12 years of age. Most of the kids I’ve taught are very studious and engaged. Actually, I love teaching them as they are so curious and funny! I have a few repeat students which has been rewarding to watch them grow and build a rapport. Their English levels vary, but all students can understand a basic level of English, so a need to know Chinese is not required.
SIGN ME UP!
If you are ready to apply click here
There is s 7 Step Hiring Process:
- Apply here.
- Fill in your basic information
- Book an Interview
- Watch Teacher Prep Videos and Take a quick quiz
- Practice a full lesson with a mentor
- Submit required documents and sign consulting agreement
- Viola! You are ready to teach with VIPKID
In the interest of full disclosure, I must state that by using this link I will get a referral fee. If you choose not to use my referral code that is ok. The plus side is that if you decide to become a teacher, you can get your own referrals in the future. More income! Yeah!
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below! I’ll get back to you ASAP.