Honest VIPKid Global Review – Read Before Applying! (2022)

Published by Dr Daniel Spence on

VIPKid Global logo

VIPKid Global Review Summary

VIPKid Global is the international branch of VIPKid, hiring US and Canadian tutors for non-Chinese students. Online classes last 25 minutes and are 1v1 with mostly children. Pay is $14 an hour, and you must have a Bachelor’s degree, though bookings are hard to come by as the company struggles to expand.

Base pay (per hour):$14 ($7 per class)
Location/language requirements?US or Canada*, Native English Speaker
Degree/diploma required?Bachelor’s Degree
Teaching certificate required?No**
Experience working with children?2 years recommended
Student ages (adults/children)?Mostly 4-15 years (adult classes invite only)
Class size:1v1
Class length:25 minutes
Minimum availability (per week):0 hours
*Excluding residents of California, New York and Washington states
**Can be acquired after contract signing

VIPKid Global Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Choice of teaching either a live or ‘smart’ (recorded) demo
  • Lesson plans, teaching materials and a reliable curriculum are provided 
  • Ability to teach anywhere (if you meet residency requirements)
  • Tutors decide their schedules, with no minimum hours commitment

Cons:

  • US and Canada residents only (except California, New York and Washington states)
  • The fixed base pay rate has decreased compared to the China platform 
  • Global student bookings are hard to come by
  • Lack of autonomy (very prescriptive lessons)
  • Unclear communication from management throughout the company’s transition

Is VIPKid Legit?

Founded in 2013 and launched in 2014, VIPKid grew to become a market-leading online education startup, attracting investment from Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Northern Light Venture Capital, Bryant Stibel, and others. The company’s legitimacy has also been validated by being featured in prominent international publications such as Bloomberg, Business Insider and Forbes.

What Happened to VIPKid in 2021?

VIPKid, a leading force in the edtech space, originally served as a platform connecting Chinese students with Native English-speaking tutors. However, from July 2021, the Chinese government enforced a crackdown on companies offering tutoring services from abroad. Investment in online and private tutoring operations for school-aged children was banned, along with the hiring of foreign instructors operating outside of China. An official update directed towards teachers can be found here

Is VIPKid Closing Down or Still in Business?

While these regulations have been a blow for VIPKid, the company launched its VIPKid Global Platform in December 2021 with the aim of connecting its tutors with students outside of China. Alongside this, VIPKid intends to continue tutoring Chinese adults (as the restrictions do not extend to adult education) and has also partnered with American company BookNook, in an attempt to compensate for the significant loss of its domestic market. New tutors can still apply for VIPKid Global positions, though the base pay rate has been lowered, and bookings are more difficult to obtain. 

What is VIPKid Global Expansion?

The VIPKid Global Platform was announced in October 2021 and launched two months later, aimed at acquiring new students in countries beyond China, that would allow the company to maintain its existing base of international tutors who could no longer legally instruct Chinese children from overseas.

Which Countries is VIPKid Global in?

While no list of active VIPKid Global countries has officially been shared, it is known that the company has been trying to establish itself in South Korea and Saudi Arabia. However, they have thus far struggled to replace the vast Chinese market, resulting in greatly reduced bookings for VIPKid Global tutors. The company retains offices in San Francisco and Beijing.

VIPKid Global Platform Review – How Does VIPKid Work?

VIPKid Global Classes

The VIPKid Global Platform can be viewed in multiple languages, granting a wider range of students access to VIPKid’s curriculum, which has been changed to reflect the more multi-national outlook of the company.

VIPKid Global classes provide a reliable curriculum which is very prescriptive for tutors to follow. Students can preview the class before choosing their tutors, with each one-on-one lesson lasting 25 minutes. Tutors teaching with VIPKid Global have the opportunity to combine interactive course materials, real conversations, songs, and games in order to keep their students engaged. Live instruction also provides for real-time teacher feedback. 

VIPKid Global’s program reinforces the following key language skills:

  • Listening comprehension 
  • Speaking and pronunciation 
  • Reading and phonics
  • Writing and grammar

There are no quizzes, tests or homework to grade.

The VIPKid Global teacher portal is considered user-friendly and simple to use. You will be able to open and close hours of availability, send in support tickets, view your contract and account information, leave student feedback, and more. When opening the VIPKid Global classroom, class materials are there and ready to use. The classes are predictable in that they follow a chronological order for each student. 

Here is a video recording of a VIPKid Global class:

Can You Teach VIPKid Global on iPad or iPhone?

VIPKid Global tutors can teach from their iPad, however it is not possible to deliver lessons from an iPhone or Android device.

Can You Teach VIPKid Global on Chromebook?

VIPKid Global is not supported on Chromebook devices, only Windows PCs, Macbooks, iPads and Microsoft Surface tablets.

VIPKid Global Cancellation Policy

VIPKid Global’s cancellation policy allows a teacher up to 6 missed appointments (due to cancellation or no-show) over the course of each six-month contract. VIPKid Global’s policy states:

  • If you must cancel one, two, or three classes on the same calendar day, this counts as ONE missed appointment total.
  • If you must cancel four or more classes on the same calendar day, this counts as TWO missed appointments total. 

If the tutor fails to make an appearance or cancels the class within 2 hours of its start time, this will be labelled as a teacher no-show. When a teacher no-show occurs, the tutor will not be paid for the class and will have $10 deducted from their paycheck. 

Teacher cancellations are classed as either ‘soft’ or ‘medium’. There are no financial consequences for soft cancellations if you can provide proof of illness, natural disaster or emergency, birth or death, while medium cancellations 2-24 hours before a class result in a $2 deduction. There is no financial penalty if 24+ hours notice is given.

If your cancellation is declared soft or medium, it will NOT count as one of the 6 permitted absences or cancellations. Should a cancellation fall outside of the aforementioned scenarios, however, it will count towards your 6 absences and increase your risk of termination.

How Much Does VIPKid Global Platform Pay?

VIPKid Global offers less than the China-centered VIPKid platform did, decreasing the base pay rate to US$7 per class ($14 per hour). With incentives, the company says this can increase to $22. The VIPKid Global pay scale is fixed, with tutors being unable to set their own rates.

Does VIPKid Global Give Raises?

VIPKid Global teachers do not receive base-pay raises. However, the tier-based payment structure does allow tutors to be paid more as the number of classes they have taught increases. As tutors move up through the tier structure, their incentive bonus will rise. 

Since the expansion, VIPKid Global has retracted the monetary incentives initially given for completing a certain number of classes per month, replacing it with a token-based system. Tokens can be earned through actions such as opening more slots and watching training videos. They can be used to book ‘power slots’ or purchase gemstone boxes for students, which can be redeemed through the Student Portal. 

How Does VIPKid Global Pay You?

VIPKid Global pays teachers via direct bank deposits.

When and How Often Does VIPKid Global Pay?

VIPKid Global pays between the 10th and 15th day of every month.

What Are VIPKid Global Teaching Hours?

There is no minimum number of VIPKid Global platform hours one must commit to. Tutors can decide their own schedules, which can be changed each week if required.

It is important to note that, due to this being a global platform, tutors must consider working around time zones in order to capitalize on ‘peak hours’ in the students’ countries of origin. This could lead to you working inconvenient hours (such as in the middle of the night or early morning) in order to gain a reasonable amount of bookings.

How Long Are VIPKid Global Classes?

VIPKid Global classes are 25 minutes long, starting every hour and half hour, with a 5-minute window after each class to write up feedback, get a glass of water, go to the toilet, and prepare for the next lesson.

Is VIPKid Global Still Hiring and Are VIPKid Global Bookings Good?

VIPKid Global is still hiring, though they have fewer students since transitioning away from China into new international markets. Consequently, many VIPKid Global tutors are struggling to build up their bookings on the new platform, a frustration expressed through many a post you can find shared across the various social media platforms.

For example, after opening 35 peak hour slots a week for 2 months, this new VIPKid Global tutor still received ZERO student bookings:

Additional recent examples can be found on Glassdoor, Reddit and Indeed:

VIPKid Global Requirements

VIPKid Global Tutors must be authorized to work in the United States or Canada. The exception is for state residents of California, New York, or Washington, where tax laws regulating independent contractors prevent VIPKid Global from hiring.

Successful applicants must be able to pass a federal background check. Once you supply them with the relevant information, VIPKid performs and pays for this check which takes 7-10 days to process. 

As expected, a reliable internet connection is required to teach classes online. Your equipment will also need to meet these additional technical requirements for VIPKid Global:

  • A desktop/laptop PC, Macbook, iPad, or Microsoft Surface (Chromebooks, iPhones and Android devices are not supported)
  • Windows 7, 8 or 10; Mac OS 10.X or higher operating system 
  • Intel i5 processor or higher 
  • 8GB RAM or higher

Two years of experience working with children is strongly recommended. This can be in the form of teaching, tutoring, mentoring, Sunday schooling, babysitting, or coaching.

Availability to teach during ‘peak’ hours is also heavily recommended due to the scarcity of bookings.

Can You Teach VIPKid Global Without a Degree?

Potential tutors must provide proof of a bachelor’s degree (a 4-year degree from a university in any field or major) with one of the following:

  • A photo of your physical bachelor’s degree certificate 
  • A copy of your official transcript from your institution
  • Degree verification from National Students Clearinghouse 
  • A verification letter from your institution’s registrar office (signed, sealed or watermarked) 

Does VIPKid Global Require TEFL?

A TEFL/TESOL certification is recommended for VIPKid Global, but can be acquired after a contract has been signed.

How to Apply for VIPKid Global Jobs

Step 1: Sign up to create an account and complete a form containing personal details.

Step 2: Once you have provided your credentials, you will be able to review some teaching materials and choose between two options for your VIPKid Global demo lesson:

1. The Live Demo

This option involves scheduling a meeting via video call with a VIPKid recruiter. Here, you will be asked a few questions about any experience you have and your reasoning behind choosing this role. The recruiter will then roleplay as a student while you deliver a 10-minute demo lesson to them. 

2. The Smart Demo

This option is less time-consuming and involves a 5-minute recorded demo based on a pre-provided lesson plan. You will pretend to teach a brief lesson to a non-existent student, then upload the results. 

Step 3: Deliver a mock class. This will assess your ability to design and deliver an effective lesson based on the VIPKid curriculum. You will be provided with the content and may select either Level 2-3 or Level 4-5. Most opt for the lower level, as most students on the VIPKid Global Platform fall into this category. 

Step 4: The next stage in the process involves some basic teacher training to prepare you for the VIPKid Global online role. The content covered in this training primarily focuses on ESL basics. However, if you have already completed an appropriate TEFL course, you can skip this section of the VIPKid Global application process. 

Step 5: VIPKid Global will perform a background check, taking approximately 7-10 days to process. 

Step 6: The final stage is the contract signing, for which you will need to provide:

  • A copy of your Bachelor’s Degree
  • Document/Proof of Work Authorization in the US or Canada (Valid Driver License or Passport)
  • An ESL certificate/credential (this can be acquired after you sign a contract)
  • Profile materials to introduce yourself to students, specifically:
    • A photo
    • A self-introduction paragraph
    • A self-introduction Video (15 seconds)

The entire VIPKid application process takes around 2-3 weeks to complete.

Can You Reapply to VIPKid Global?

If you fail to pass the application process, you will not be able to reapply with the same details. However, there is nothing preventing you from creating a new account.

VIPKid Global Reviews

The VIPKid Glassdoor page provides an overall score of 4.1 out of 5, with 5,937 votes, while the VIPKid Indeed rating is 3.8 out of 5, from 1,618 votes (at the time of writing). However, it is important to note that the majority of these VIPKid reviews predate the Global expansion. Since then, many tutors have noted that it is much harder to obtain bookings, and the decrease in base pay acts as a deterrent. Social media pages such as the VIPKid subreddit also have multiple posts expressing how the VIPKid Global Platform pales in comparison to its predecessor. We have included some of the recent reports of working for VIPKid Global below:

It is fair to deduce from these reviews that teaching with VIPKid was once an extremely viable option for online ESL teachers but, with the regulations imposed by the Chinese government, the new VIPKid Global program is currently an inferior version that has yet to establish itself firmly within international ESL markets.

Conclusion – Is Teaching VIPKid Worth It Still?

Whilst VIPKid was once a premier platform for online ESL teaching, since the regulations imposed by the Chinese government, this is no longer the case.

Despite the global expansion push, bookings are harder to come by and the base pay rate has dropped. As pre-existing tutors were brought over from the previous platform, new applicants looking to join will find the student-to-teacher ratio unfavorable. Due to the company’s lack of transparency during such a turbulent transition, guidelines and expectations remain unclear months after the introduction of VIPKid Global. The company’s curriculum is reliable and easily accessible, so those unfazed by more limited bookings and the lower pay rate may wish to try the platform still. However, considering all factors, alternative non-China options exist which could prove more fruitful for new applicants. 

You can apply to VIPKid Global here.

Contact us to help update this article, share your experiences, or suggest other companies to review.


Dr Daniel Spence

Daniel Spence is the founder of Online Teaching Review. He has been an international teacher since 2008, an award-winning academic, author of two books, and holds a PhD, MA, BA (Hons), and TESOL.

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