My New Side Hustle: Teaching with VIPKID

Last December, I set some goals for myself for 2017. Most of them I’ve actually followed through on

1) Sign up for a workout class with my colleagues by the end of January- I completed this, I haven’t been consistently going but, hey, I’m working on it.

2) Take a Mandarin class, start by February- I’m now in level 2 and while it’s challenging, I’m definitely learning some words and

3) Find another source of stable income (aka a side hustle) by the beginning of April.

I thought that last one would be the hardest; it definitely was but on May 1st I started a new part time job. Yay! I’m so excited to have another source of income! Really, with my massive student loan debt, this gives me a way to put some more money towards my loans. While I’m still working my full time job, I plan on putting every cent I earn from VIPKID to my loans and in two months I’ve already paid an extra $1,100 towards my loans!

So What Am I Doing? What is VIPKID?

VIPKID is an online English tutoring company for students in China. It’s a huge company, something like 10,000 teachers work for them.  They offer English classes to younger students and have built an entire 6 year (common core based) curriculum for their teachers to use. Each 25 minute class is one student, an instructor and one 25 to 30 slide powerpoint. Each slide has instructions at the bottom for the teacher to follow and the powerpoints follow a similar structure which means there’s very minimal prep for each class!

Why it’s awesome?

So far VIPKID has been the perfect fit for me. I really think this is such an amazing company for me to work with! Here’s why:

You can set your own hours! Yes, there are peak times for classes but if I’m traveling for the week, I just don’t schedule classes that week! If it’s a holiday here in Malaysia then I can add a bunch of extra slots! I decide when I work and how much I work.

It’s fun! The kids are so cute and its’ amazing to build a connection through a computer screen. I was skeptical. I’ve worked with kids for the last 6 years, I was iffy on switching to online learning because I think being physically with my student allows me to make a better connection. But I know have some regular students on VIPKID who I’ve had 5-10 classes with and the connection is still there! I get to learn what they like, what they struggle with and see their progress just like I do in a regular classroom.

You don’t have to leave your house! Seriously this is a major plus because this means I can do this job from anywhere in the world! I’m leaving my current job in September but I can keep working for VIPKID as I travel and as I move back home to see my family for a couple months.

There’s a huge community of teachers! While in classroom teaching you have your department’s support, on VIPKID I literally have thousands of teachers to get advice from!  There are massive Facebook groups with teachers willing to answer your every question at any time of day. The teacher community is so supportive.

My student showing me her favorite toy!

How Much Can You Make?

The sky’s the limit on how much you can make with this company. I’ve heard of people making over $50,000 a year. Just in my first month I made an extra $540 working only during my nights and weekends. Keeping in mind that I was in the Maldives for a full week this month and I went to Tiomen, an island off the coast of Malaysia for a weekend, I’d say that’s a pretty good amount! I taught a total of 54 classes, about 27 hours, giving me an average pay of $20 an hour, not including my prep time hours. The VIPKID salary is really confusingly broken down because of extra incentives the company offers each month and other student no show policies. But overall the pay is good, especially for a job that allows me to set my own hours. My goal is to make an additional $500 payment to my student loans each month until I leave my full time job. My second month I made $560 despite going to the Philippines for a week and another Malaysian island for a weekend!

What Does My Schedule Look Like?

I’m lucky because I live in Asia. I don’t have to wake up at ungodly hours of the morning to teach. Most of the peak times for classes are really early in the morning (like 4am) for people in the U.S. which is a huge draw back for most teachers. Others, who work full time or who take care of their kids during the day, love that they can get their teaching hours out of the way in the morning. The first five weeks of my schedule at VIPKID are below!

Want to work for VIPKID?

If you’re interested in applying to work with VIPKID please click the link as it helps my standing in the company for them to know that I referred you!  Also, please feel free to email me any questions at theadventurouseducator at gmail dot com.

Requirements to Apply

To apply you must be a native English speaker and have a bachelor’s degree. You must have a working computer and stable internet.

I will admit the application process is horrible. This company is growing too big, too fast and they are struggling to compete with the demand. The interview was awful and challenging and sometimes communication with the company is rough BUT I think it’s worth it! I love working with the students and it’s an easy way to earn money!

  1. Hi Megan! Were you able to teach with VIPKID while in the maldives? Was inteneta problem if so? And what time in the day was it there?

    Thanks! Love your pictures 🙂

    1. Hi Bethany!
      Sorry for the delay in my response! I went to the Maldives before I starting working for VIPKID. I’m sure you can search the time difference on google though. I don’t think the internet would have been good enough though or at least not in the hotels I stayed in. Maybe if you were in a nicer resort it would be ok. Thanks for reading! <3

  2. I am considering this opportunity but I dislike the early hours VS the pay compensation. In US people pay up to 50.00 an hour for private tutoring. Why are US well educated teachers willing to sell themselves out at 20.00 per hour and to work at early hours to boot?? I just do not get it?!
    I think the teaching and concept part of this company is awesome. I also like the sense of community. Can you convince me why this is such a GREAT opportunity for a well educated teacher with a Masters Degree? Does this company hire any other staff or facillators that can work regular hours?

    1. Hi Susan,

      I agree you could get much more doing private tutoring which I also do but in this case you don’t have to be physically present. That’s the draw for me at least. Since I travel a lot VIPKID allows me to continue working without having to be in the same city. I don’t live in the US so I don’t wake up crazy early hours. But I completely agree- if you are a teacher with a masters and you find that classroom teaching isn’t crazy stressful for you and you don’t want to flexibility to move around then this ISN’T a great opportunity. However, the draw is that flexibility and for me its not working with 30+ kids at a time. A lot of former classroom teachers who work for VIPKID have young kids, they love that they can stay home during the day.
      VIPKID does hire full time staff, with normal work hours, however most of them work for their office in Beijing.

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Megan is from sunny California and is currently living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She funds her travels by teaching students with learning challenges and students applying to U.S. universities. She loves traveling like a local, eating amazing food and is always up for an adventure. Check out her about me section to learn more!

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