VIPKid Review [2021]: Does This Teaching Side Hustle Get an A+?

VIPKid allows you to earn money teaching English from home — and it even helps with lesson planning.
Last updated Sep 29, 2021 | By Christy Rakoczy | Edited By Jess Ullrich
Online teacher

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If you're looking for a side hustle and you enjoy working with kids, VIPKid could be a great option. This side hustle pays you between $14 and $22 per hour to teach English online from your own home and on your own schedule. You don't have to create lesson plans, and there are close to a million students on the platform who could benefit from your knowledge and teaching skills.

VIPKid offers a flexible schedule and a relatively generous pay rate. However, you do need to meet certain qualifications to be hired.

This VIPKid review can help you decide whether this side hustle is one you should pursue or if you're better off looking elsewhere.

Quick Summary

Teach English online in your spare time with VIPKid

  • Earn $14—$22 an hour from the comfort of home
  • Make your own teaching schedule
  • No lesson planning required
In this VIPKid review

What is VIPKid?

VIPKid is an online teaching platform that provides the opportunity for children between the ages of 4 and 12 to learn English virtually. It describes itself as a "global leader in online English education" and indicates that it was founded by educators and administrators with decades of experience.

VIPKid is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and Beijing, China, but it has teachers from across the U.S. and Canada. Since its founding in 2014, close to a million students have used the company's platform to learn the English language. This includes thousands of low-income rural Chinese students who take part in VIPKid's Rural Education Project.

EdTech China indicates that VIPKid is one of the largest English tutoring companies in all of China and is valued at more than $1.5 billion.

How does VIPKid work?

VIPKid offers 30-minute classes, which include 25 minutes of active teaching. The company provides the course materials for teachers to use, but it’s the responsibility of teachers to learn the materials and prepare for their courses. All courses are one-on-one with students, and teachers are not expected to communicate with parents who have questions — instead, office staff takes care of those communications.

Teachers can set their own schedules, though VIPKid recommends that they make themselves available at least 7 1/2 hours of teaching or 15 total time slots per week.

The most popular times for courses are Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern Time, and Saturdays and Sundays, 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern Time. Bookings for each online teacher are made at least 24 hours in advance, so you'll know your schedule at least a day ahead.

Who can teach with VIPKid?

To become an English teacher with VIPKid, you need a bachelor's degree. It doesn’t need to be an English or teaching degree — it can be in any area of study. You are allowed to live anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, with one exception. California residents are not currently eligible to become teachers with VIPKid.

It’s important to have a stable internet connection and a reliable computer with a camera, though, so keep this in mind if you live in an area where internet service isn’t great. You must be willing to sign a six-month contract, though you have the freedom to set your own hours within that six-month period.

You don’t need to speak a foreign language to teach with VIPKid, but you do need solid English as a second language (ESL) teaching skills. This role is also best suited for those with strong time management skills.

VIPKid requires that all prospective teachers do a demonstration lesson as part of the hiring process. You’ll be evaluated based on your efficient pace and timing, ability to fulfill lesson objectives, professionalism, and effective teaching practices.

Teaching English with VIPKid can be a great side job for teachers looking for ways to make extra money. If you are comfortable working with kids and presenting information in an engaging way to young learners, this side hustle could be the right fit.

How much can you earn with VIPKid?

VIPKid teachers receive a base pay of $7 to $9 per class. Each class is 25 minutes, which means that teachers are able to earn the hourly equivalent of $14 to $18 per hour. VIPKid also offers the opportunity to earn incentives for things such as referring friends or teaching more courses. These incentives can boost pay to $14 to $22 per hour.

As a VIPKid teacher, you’ll have the choice to receive weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly paychecks. Payments can be directly deposited to your bank account or sent to your PayPal account. The VIPKid app makes it easy to track your earnings.

Maximizing your earnings with VIPKid

VIPKid indicates that there’s no limit to the number of hours you can teach. So if you want to earn as much as possible, it’s a good idea to make yourself available at a wide variety of teaching times to maximize your bookings.

VIPKid advises that you offer sessions during peak hours, which are Monday to Friday 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern Time and Saturdays and Sundays 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern Time. Given the time difference between the U.S., Canada, and China, most of the students in China are either sleeping or in school during off-peak hours.

The company also says it can take around a month to get a steady stream of classes, as parents and students begin to try out new teachers. So it’s possible you might not earn a lot of money immediately.

FAQs about VIPKid

Is working for VIPKid worth it?

Working for VIPKid could be worth it if you can make yourself available during the peak hours when students are looking for classes. You'll also need to be comfortable teaching students in a one-on-one setting. Strong teaching performance will encourage students to give you repeat business so you'll get more bookings.

Do you need a degree for VIPKid?

VIPKid requires teachers to have at least a bachelor's degree, which can be in any area of study.

Does VIPKid give you lesson plans?

VIPKid provides the materials that teachers need to prepare for class, including detailed lesson plans. Teachers are expected to review the materials before their classes so they are prepared to teach students.

Does VIPKid take taxes out of your paycheck?

VIPKid does not withhold income tax from your paycheck. However, you must provide them a W-9 form with your tax information. The company will send you a Form 1099 MISC each year detailing the income you earned, and you’ll need to properly report your income to the IRS and pay taxes on your earnings.

How to become a teacher with VIPKid

There are five stages to the application process to become a VIPKid teacher. These are the steps:

1. Submit an online application with your basic information. This will be used to screen you for position fit, including eligibility requirements like having a bachelor's degree.

2. Do a one-on-one interview or demo lesson. Next, you'll need to prepare and record a demonstration lesson for review by a VIPKid recruiter or join a recruiter for a 30-minute session to display your teaching skills.

3. Complete training. You'll be expected to watch training videos to learn the VIPKid policies for technology and teacher standards. You'll also be introduced to the curriculum.

4. Teach a mock class. Next, you'll work with an existing VIPKid instructor to teach a full-length practice class.

5. Sign a contract. Finally, you'll upload documents such as your tax information, undergo a background check, and sign a six-month renewable teaching contract with the company.

Once you’ve completed the steps to become a VIPKid teacher, you can add your available teaching times to the online portal so students can book courses with you.

Other side hustles to consider

If VIPKid isn't right for you, there are plenty of options for those learning how to make money on the side, including:

  • Rover: If you'd rather spend your time caring for dogs than teaching children, Rover could be a good side hustle for you. The popular dog-walking app connects pet sitters and pet owners. As a sitter, you can offer services such as walking dogs, boarding, or pet sitting in owner's homes.
    Read our Rover review to learn more.
  • Neighbor.com Neighbor.com lets you offer your extra storage space to renters for a fee. It's a great side hustle if you have extra space but not a lot of extra time.
    Check out our Neighbor.com review to see whether this could be a good fit.

Bottom line

VIPKid could be a great side hustle for people interested in helping young children learn English. You'll need to be able to work evening and weekend hours to maximize your earnings, though, and you’ll need to prepare for courses so you can teach your students effectively.

If you’re interested in signing up, visit VIPKid to get started. If this doesn’t sound like the best option, check out our picks for the best side hustles to find one that works for you.

VIPKid Benefits

  • Become a teacher and get paid to teach English
  • Earn $14—$22 an hour from the comfort of home
  • No lesson planning needed

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.