What are the VIPKid requirements in 2021?
Perhaps you want to start teaching online and you want to know the latest requirements – that’s a smart move! According to this survey one-third of Americans need a side gig to pay for their regular living expenses, without cutting their living costs.
These days working from home has become the norm for plenty of people, who are now searching for ways to make an extra income online.
Maybe their day job does not feel all that safe anymore, or maybe they just want to try their hand at making their own money online.
Teaching English with Vipkid is a wonderful opportunity that can allow you to earn more and maybe even quit your job and live your life on your own terms.
However, in order to become an ESL online teacher with Vipkid you need to meet certain requirements and many people are wondering if they qualify for the job.
Is that you?If the answer is YES, then you have come to the right place.Let’s dive in.
Continue reading to find out if you can apply to Vipkid.
8 Vipkid Requirements
- A Neutral accent
- Teaching Experience
- Eligibility to work in the US and Canada
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Teaching certificate
- Vipkid computer requirements
- Availability during Beijing peak hours
- Background Check
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
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What Exactly is VIPKid?
VIPKid is an online ESL teaching program headquartered in Beijing, China.
According to their website, they use a flipped-classroom approach and they make education accessible by bringing together young learners and educators through one-on-one online classes.
8 Vipkid Requirements
Want to become an online ESL teacher with Vipkid and make an extra income online?
Working for Vipkid is a wonderful opportunity that has been key to becoming a digital nomad for so many.
However, the company’s hiring process is admittedly rigorous and if you want to sign a contract with them you must meet their requirements.
So, before applying, read on and check if you qualify.
Vipkid Basic Requirements
1.A Neutral Accent
In order to teach with VIPKID, you must be a native English speaker with a North American accent. Vipkid parents pay for a North American English experience, hence this is a strict requirement apparently.
So, what if you have a Southern accent, a British accent or worse..
‘What if I am not a native speaker and I have an accent?’
Well, based on a number of accounts, the company has a strong preference for a North American accent, but they do hire teachers with a different accent. It rests on the interviewer and it will be evaluated during the interview process, so if you have an accent and want to try it out, bear in mind that you MAY have a shot.
Take some time to practice speaking clearly and do some drilling exercises. That will pay off.
Whether you are a British native speaker or an Italian native speaker, shadowing a native speaker with a North American accent beforehand will go a long way.
So, having an accent or being a non-native speaker is not a deal-breaker (it is not mentioned on the company page as well), BUT being eligible to work in the US or Canada is, indeed, a non-negotiable requirement, (check out requirement n.3).
The company requires that you have at least two years of experience with children.
So, if you have a lot of teaching experience, it’s awesome, but that is not mandatory as the definition of experience with kids is pretty broad.
Besides, they don’t seem to double-check and verify your experience, as they assume that you are honest and state the truth.
In other words, you must have some form of experience working with children, which does not necessarily need to be traditional teaching.
Also, even though it is not a requirement it would help tremendously if you have experience as a student or as a teacher of the K12 curriculum – K12 is an American term that refers to the academic curriculum from kindergarten through Grade 12.
If you have at least two years of experience with the following activities, you will most likely qualify for Vipkid:
- Traditional Teaching
- Summer Camp Staff/Counseling
They just want to know that you can connect and deal with kids effectively.
So, should you have such experience, make sure that you tick the right box during the screening process if you don’t want your application to be turned down.
That’s right. Applicants with less than 2 years of ‘TEACHING’ experience will be automatically rejected.
Don’t meet this requirement? I am sorry! You can’t become a Vipkid teacher. But don’t fret!
You can apply for other companies and get experience while earning money. Check out my guide on how to become an English teacher with no experience.
3.Eligibility to Work In The US and Canada
Are you eligible to work in the US or Canada?
Yes? Great! Then, you can work from anywhere in the world if you manage to get through the application process and get booked consistently – keep reading for pro tips. 🙂
Teachers must input their US or Canada tax code to receive payments, which means that they must file taxes and have a permanent address in one of these countries (Vipkid determines where a teacher is based through the W-9 tax paperwork).
If you are not eligible to work in the US or Canada, but you are a green card holder and have a work permit, then it’s fine, too.
You will be asked to submit your green card upon hire, so in case you are in the process of getting one, you might want to reach out to the company beforehand.
You don’t want to land the job, only to find out that you are not entitled to sign the contract because of that!
If you are not eligible to work in the US and Canada, but you are still itchy to teach English online, you can read my article on how to teach English online in one week.
**As of 2021 Vipkid is no longer partnering with teachers who are residents in the State of California (starting from 2019), New York and Washington due to new state laws and regulations regarding independent contractors.
Vipkid Education Requirements
4. A Bachelor’s Degree
Vipkid requires that all applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree.
Before you are allowed to sign your contract and start teaching, you must upload a copy of your official degree cert and the company spends around 10 days to check carefully if your documents are in order.
Therefore, after the first screening stage where you must state if you have a degree, Vipkid does check for a degree and your application will be rejected if you fail to submit your diploma.
You need a degree to be compliant with the regulations set by the Ministry of Education in China.
They take it very seriously and there is no way around that.
However, you don’t need a teaching license (although if you do, you would definitely stand out) and your degree could be in any subject. You can become a Vipkid teacher even if you have a degree in an unrelated field like Engineering. Sounds reassuring?
‘Nope, I don’t have a degree!’.
Well, I got you covered on this as well. Here is a list of ESL companies that hire teachers with no degree.
5. A Teaching Certificate
Up until 2019, Vipkid did not have any requirements related to TESOL (Teaching English as a second language) certificates, even though candidates who had one were strongly preferred.
Starting from 2019, the new regulations imposed that all online ESL teachers acquire a TESOL,TEFL or CELTA certificate.
If you don’t have a teaching certificate, you can simply get one here in a matter of weeks, if you put in the work. I took it myself and it’s fantastic.
Let’s TEFL is a great option. I took it myself and I could not recommend it more. It’s accredited and accepted by online schools.
Vipkid Tech Requirements
If you are still reading, then you will probably meet the other requirements.
Congrats! That was the tough part.
On top of all the requirements mentioned so far, Vipkid also requires that you comply with their technological standards to ensure that your classes are consistent and your face does not freeze while you are explaining the present perfect!
You need a fast reliable Internet connection to take advantage of VIPKid’s platform. If you live in a remote area, a Hotspot connection should do, but make sure to check that it works properly.
6. Vipkid Computer Requirements
During the interview process, VIPKID will check whether you adhere to the following tech requirements.
- Laptop or Ipad: You must have a laptop, Mac, PC or Surface device to go through the interview process. However, once you are hired you can teach actual VIPKid classes through the VIPKid Teach app on a Windows or Mac computer/laptop or an iPad.
- Headset or Headphone with a mic: Although you can also use your computer’s built-in microphone, your lessons will be much clearer with a dedicated headset. Alternatively, you could use headphones with a mic.
- Integrated camera or webcam: Similarly, an HD external or integrated camera will go a long way, although an average computer webcam is considered acceptable.
- Chrome or Firefox: You will also need a Chrome or Firefox browser. During the hiring process, it is recommended that you use at least Google Chrome (preferred) Version 51 or Firefox 47 and you are up to date on the latest Flash Version.
- System requirements: Your device must have:
- a minimum operating system of Windows7 or Mac OS 10.x
- a memory of at least 4GB RAM
- a stable internet connection (Ethernet recommended) of at least 20 Mbps.
- the latest Flash version
- Intel Core i3 above CPU
- Bonus: you want your face to be well lit while teaching, without creepy dark shadows in the back. Make sure to check that your lighting is suitable for an online class.
7. Availability During Beijing Peak Hours
Do you like working 9-5pm?
If so, that could be a problem, as you will need to adjust to Beijing peak hours.
It will take a while to build trust and get a steady amount of students but it is best if you can be available for at least 7.5 hours (15 time-slots per week/30 min per slot) during Beijing peak times:
- Weekdays: 6pm-10pm
- Weekends: 9am – 10pm
Bear in mind that your teaching availability does not always match the actual weekly teaching hours, but it will increase the probability of getting booked by students.
If your application meets all the previous requirements, then you are on your way to having your first interview with a Vipkid tutor-mentor.
After that, you will need to take a mock class.
Before signing your contract, VIPKID will also require that you submit a background check (along with all the other documents – e.g. proof of degree).
Once you pass this stage, you are all set!
So you will have to pass a background check, handled by a third-party service. This can take anywhere from hours to days or weeks, but some teachers reported that you can start teaching meanwhile.
Does Vipkid Hire Only Experienced Teachers?
As mentioned above, the short answer is.. NO!
They do have a strong preference for people with a North American accent – native speakers from Canada and the US.
However, as long as you are eligible to work in these countries and have a work permit, then you are entitled to apply and your accent will be evaluated during the interview process.
What Qualifications Do You Need for Vipkid?
As explained in detail above, you will need a:
- Bachelor’s Degree
- TESOL/TEFL certificate
How Do You Apply For Vipkid Jobs?
The Vipkid teacher application process is pretty straightforward. It involves 4 steps.
Step1: Online Application Form
You must fill in the online application form. It takes approximately 2 mins and if you are rejected at this stage (because of some mistakes while filling out the form) you can still re-apply using a different email address.
However, if you were rejected because you did not meet the requirements, do not re-apply!
It won’t change the outcome.
Before applying, make sure to:
- Use your current legal name for taxes and background check purposes, not a nickname.
- Double-check your time zone, since it can be tricky to change it during the interview process.
It’s okay if you do not live in the United States or Canada or you got a degree from another country, as long as you are eligible to work there.
If you pass this stage, you may be allowed to book a demo session immediately.
A demo session is your chance to go through a PPT slide deck and showcase your teaching skills and it could be a:
- Live Demo
- Recorded Demo
- VIPKID Smart Demo (This replaced the old VIPKID express interview)
If you need some inspiration on how to ace the demo class, check out this video.
Not quite ready? Relax! You can take your time and book the session at the time that suits you best.
Step2: First Interview
At this stage, you will either record a demo lesson and submit it for evaluation or have a 30-min session with a VIPKID recruiter to showcase your ability to teach their curriculum according to their standards.
Step3: Online Training
You will then receive a few educational videos from Vipkid, which you can complete on your schedule.
Step4: Mock- Class
You will deliver a lesson plan (provided for you) to a teacher-mentor during a mock class and receive feedback.
How To Pass the Vipkid Mock Class?
You will be asked to choose which levels you would like to teach (and get certified on). You have 2 options:
- Levels 2&3
- Levels 4&5
Don’t worry too much, as you can get certified on both levels later on.
If you want to have a better chance at getting booked at the beginning- Level 2&3 must be your choice.
Once you let them know your preference, you will be assigned two lessons to prepare and then you will be scheduled with a teacher-mentor based in China, who will give you feedback and tips.
Tip: Most teachers usually struggle with time management and that’s why you should reduce any small talk. If you use a lot of TPR (Total Physical Response), repetition and props and manage to keep the engagement level high you will breeze through it.
You have no idea what TPR is or how to use it in an online classroom?
How Long Does It Take To Get Booked with Vipkid?
Some teachers have reported that it can take more than 2 weeks to get their first class with Vipkid.
Once you get hired, be patient and expect to invest at least a few months before your schedule gets fully booked.
In the meantime, you can work for other ESL companies to fill the gaps in your schedule.
Tip: How to have students book more classes with Vipkid? Here is a checklist you should go through:
- Create an Attractive Profile
- Use your Tags appropriately – make sure they describe your teaching style appropriately
- Open some of your time slots – fill your schedule progressively. There is a learning curve and you don’t want to get burned out
- Personalize your feedback
- Open your spaces with short notice – this allows the parents to book a class with you with an hour’s notice.
Not an early riser?Better get your priorities straight if you want to make money with Vipkid!
There are no minimum or maximum hourly requirements, but many teachers need to wake up as early as 4.30 am to get fully booked.
When do Parents Book on Vipkid?
Parents can select the tutor they want by browsing through teacher profiles and sorting by teacher tag.
Once a time slot is booked, you will have access to teaching resources for that lesson and it will show up as green in the VIPKID teacher portal.
How To Ask For Feedback On Vipkid?
Before asking for feedback, take time to build a relationship with your students and their parents.
Getting feedback affects your score and your earnings, but you don’t want to come across as pushy and lose students.
If you want some guidance (and even some nice templates) to ask students for feedback, check out this website.
Vipkid Teacher No Show Policy
What is the teacher no-show policy (Vipkid)?Many people ask that question and it can get confusing, so let’s clear things up.
It all comes down to when you cancel your class relative to the starting time:
- Within 2 hours: you will get a ‘Teacher no show’ and 10 USD will be deducted from your salary
- Within 2-24 hours: in this case, ‘only’ 2 USD will be deducted from your paycheck.
- More than 24 hours before: no money will be deducted.
Vipkid Student No Show Policy
As for the student no show policy (Vipkid), bear in mind that you will be teaching two types of classes.
Teaching a Trial class?
Teachers are bound to stay in the classroom until the 15-minute mark. So, only then can you leave the classroom.
Teaching a major course class?
You are supposed to teach a paying student, so you must stay in class for the entire 25 minutes. Sometimes, students show up after 15 minutes or even later than that.
The good news is that you can do other tasks and still feel productive, as long as you are ready to start teaching at any given time and ideally keep your camera on.
Vipkid Student Cancellation
A student cancellation happens when the parent cancels the class 24 hours before the starting time.
When this happens, teachers usually receive a push notification through the app and they are not required to show up for class.
How Much Do You Really Make With Vipkid?
VIPKid pays starts at $7 per class with an incentive-based scheme. Therefore the more you teach, the more you earn.
After a while, you can expect to make around 22USD per hour, which adds up to 2,000 USD a month, once your schedule is fully booked (20+ teaching hours per week).
Finished Classes Incentive – Vipkid
In short, the more you teach the more you earn, so prepare your classes well and build rapport with your students.
What Do I Do About Taxes ?
You will be treated as an independent contractor and no taxes are withheld by the company.Make sure to keep some money aside so that you can pay taxes next spring!
How Do You Prepare For Your Classes?
As with many other online ESL companies you’ll be given a PowerPoint lesson to work through with each student, depending on their level. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes pretty straightforward.
If you have good people skills and a back-up activity always up your sleeves you are good to go. In addition, you better have some props at hand during lessons, as a fluffy soft pig toy might come in handy with a bored 5-year-old girl.
What If You Don’t Qualify For Vipkid?
In case you skimmed through the whole article and got to this point, you might ask yourself ‘Wait a second! I don’t qualify for Vipkid. Why am I still here?’.
Indeed. Good question.
Head over to one of my other guides to become an online ESL teacher. Just tell me who you are and I will give you the goods:
Teaching with Vipkid is not for everyone, as the hiring process is pretty strict.If you qualify, you have all the information you need to apply and start teaching online.
In a few months, you may work and travel or simply make an extra income.
If you don’t qualify for the job, don’t get discouraged. There are many other opportunities to teach online, and with a little bit of extra work you might end up earning even more.
Find the one that best fits you and your needs here.
Good luck and happy teaching!