Teaching at VIPKid

VIPKID Pay Structure

Please visit the official VIPKID website for up-to-date information.  This article is based upon my experience and the best information I have available at the moment. 

So the advertisements say from $19-22 an hour.  However, when you dive further into the process it is a little more complicated than that.  Let me try to make sense of the way you get paid at VIPKID.

First, depending upon your interview, your qualifications, and your mock class experience, you will be offered a Base Pay Rate.  This Base Pay Rate is usually between $7 and $9 per class.  Aside from the Base Pay, you will receive $1 per class for any class marked “as scheduled”.  You will also get a participation incentive of $.50 per class after you hit 35 classes in a month and $1 per class when you teach 45 classes in a month.

So let’s look at an example:

This teacher’s base pay is $8 and she has taught 40 classes in a month.  Her base pay will be $320 ($8 x 40) plus $40 (assuming all classes were marked as scheduled) plus $20 (participation incentive) for a total of $380.

If she hits 45 classes, that will be $360 base pay ($8 x 45) plus $45 (as scheduled) plus $45 (participation incentive).  That will be a total of $450.

As you can see it is worth the effort to reach the 45 classes to get the additional participation incentive!  You also get paid if a student cancels class within 24 hours or does not show up at all.  You can however get docked money for classes that you have to cancel within 24 hours.  All of these details will be discussed later or you can find the information on the VIPKID website.  There are referral bonuses if a teacher signs up using your link and several incentive bonuses are offered at different times for opening up slots in your schedule.  You may also earn a bonus if a student signs up for VIPKID after taking a trial class with you.  There is extra money available if a student books a class with short notice and you can also be paid to be a substitute.  After teaching with VIPKID for awhile, you can also be eligible for other positions to help train other teachers and further the community.

Let me give you a clear picture of what this means to me.  I was hired on at one of the higher base pay rates due to my experience teaching bilingual students in the public school system and my education.  During the month of April, I was able to make $450 teaching only about an hour a day on during the week and a couple of hours on the weekend.  In May, I increased my pay to $900 working mostly the same schedule until the last week of May when I was able to open up my schedule further since our school was on summer vacation. Now in June, we are only halfway through the month and I have already made $800 and I still have two weeks full of classes left to go.  I will easily clear $1000 even if I have multiple cancellations.

I only work from 6am – 9am Central time and a couple of hours on Friday evening because I have a regular student who requests that time.  And so far, I still have a few unfilled slots in my schedule.  I’ve only been teaching with VIPKID for a few months so I am very happy with this and I plan to continue to grow my online ESL business.  In particular, I would like to help other people who would like to teach at VIPKID get started.  If that is you, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I’d love to get you started.

Teaching at VIPKid

What is the VIPKID Booking Frenzy?

If you spend any time with other VIPKID teachers you will hear about the “Booking Frenzy”?  This is not an official VIPKID term, but it is a very real event.  On Monday at noon Beijing time, parents are able to go into the VIPKID system and book their child’s classes for the next available week (which actually starts the following Monday).  This results in a huge number of classes booked in this magic time that hits around 11:30pm Central on Sunday nights.

Why is this important?  You need to have your schedule open in time for the frenzy if you want the highest chance to get bookings!  I like to have mine open as of Saturday morning in order to get some of the pre-frenzy bookings.  Your repeat students have an extra chance to book you before the frenzy.  I usually see these come in on Sunday mornings.  Students may also send a Priority Booking Request earlier in the week, but most of mine seem to book on Sunday.

Also, be aware that you may also get multiple cancellations as well.  Sometimes parents need to grab a slot and then juggle their schedule a bit.  I honestly don’t even take those cancellations into consideration because the parents are just trying to ensure their student has class at their preferred time before their favorite teachers are booked.  Honestly, I’m relatively new here at VIPKID so I’m not opposed to being a parent’s second or third or even fourth choice.  I’m still getting my schedule filled regularly and finding more and more repeat students.

To summarize:

  •  Make sure your schedule is open and available for parents to book you before you go to sleep Sunday night!
  • Be ready to see a larger number of bookings on Monday morning.


Teaching at VIPKid

Startup Timeline for VIPKID

I would like to share with you the timeline of how I got started on VIPKID.  I initially put in my application on March 16 and had my initial interview the next day.  On March 21, I had my initial Mock class for levels 2 & 3.  While I was waiting for my background check to complete, I also did the certification for levels 4 & 5 as well as trial classes and Pre-VIPKID (level 1).  My first class was on March 29.

I did not get many bookings for the first couple of weeks.  I had three bookings the first week and two the second week.  I was concerned and a bit disappointed so I spruced up my profile picture, worked on the TESOL Certifications, and took some workshops.  The next week, I had 12 bookings.  I maintained around 15 bookings a week as long as I was teaching school, but when I could open my schedule for the summer I have had around 30 classes scheduled a week.

My April paycheck was over $450 and May’s check was over $900.  June is already $800 and we still have almost half of the month left.

I want to point out a few things I have noticed:

  •  It usually takes a week for changes (new certifications) to take effect in bookings.
  • Feedback numbers are still very low (28 out of 185 classes taught).
  • Very few Student No Shows and cancellations are usually rebooked.
  • Many of my slots are already filled before the “Booking Frenzy” on Sunday nights.
Teaching at VIPKid

May Update

The month of May was very productive.  First off, I finished up the 2018-2019 school year as a first grade bilingual teacher.  I’m not returning to that school in the fall so that includes packing up my classroom completely!  I’m also more than like moving over the summer so I’m working on sorting through a lot of stuff I’ve been piling since moving here…so that is a work in progress.

I met most of my monthly goals!  I wanted to get at least 5 products up on Teachers Pay Teachers and I did even more.  I have 10 products available in my store!  I wanted to get 100 Instagram followers and I did that.  However, I did not meet my goals on Pinterest or Facebook (I decided to spend May working on Instagram).  I did publish one YouTube video which was my goal and 5 blog posts (I passed my goal here too).  I wanted to teach 60 classes at VIPKID and I ended up teaching 82!  I wanted to teach 20 classes at ZebraEnglish, but I was not able to do the demo due to a problem with my Internet connection.  I will try again after I move.  (I will say they are wonderful to deal with and I intend to follow up with them.)  So overall, I met and surpassed most of my goals during May.

I also like to figure out the class breakdowns for the month so I can see which certifications are doing the best for me.  I’m not sure why I had zero trials in May other than my schedule filled pretty quickly.  Here is the breakdown of my booked classes (some may have been cancellations or no shows):

Level 1 – 19 clases

Level 2 – 23 classes

Level 3 – 6 classes

Level 4 – 12 classes

Level 5 – 6 classes

VIPKID Voice – 4 classes

Perfect Pronunciation – 7 classes

Free Talk – 5 classes

This was quite a change from April when I had more Trials and Level 1 students booked.  The balance shifted quite a bit.  Also, my level 2 students went up significantly.  I had only 3 in April and 23 in May.  I added in the “specialty” certifications in May and immediately got bookings.  I also looked at how many “repeat” students I have.  At the moment, I have at least 18 students that I have taught 2 or more classes (or they are booked for a repeat class this next week).  Overall, I’m extremely happy with what I have accomplished in May especially since this is only the second full month working with VIPKID.