How to Make Money with VIPKID

So now you’ve read a few of my posts, and things sound great. But that pay. How does that work exactly? Do you need a Chinese bank account? When do you get paid?

VIPKID advertises that they pay teachers between $14-$22 per hour, but it’s not quite as simple as that. For starters, we don’t teach by the hour. Classes are 25 minutes long, and you get paid for the extra 5 minutes assuming you’ll use that time for writing feedback.

Understanding the pay breakdown…

We’ve talked a lot about there not being a minimum hour requirement. There isn’t, but VIPKID still needs a way to encourage teachers to teach. They do this with pay.

Let’s say your name is Betty, and you were told you’d make $20 per hour in your interview, or in the email after your demo video. Hooray! That’s $10 per class! You start doing the math and dreaming of the bills you’ll be able to pay. But let’s look at that.

So Betty will actually get $8 per class. Don’t leave yet! Let me explain…

This $8 is called her base pay. There are two incentives that bring her up to $10 per hour.

Let’s say Betty has taught 10 classes, and done everything correctly. She will get $80 for those completed classes. Because Betty is punctual, she gets an extra $0.50 for each class. This brings her up to $18 per hour.

By the end of the month, Betty has taught 50 classes (wahoo!) and is making her full $20 per hour. When she successfully taught her 45th class her pay changed for the entire month. The timeliness incentive went up to $1 per class, and she earns an extra $1 for teaching more than 45 classes. Betty’s paycheck now comes to $500 in total. Not bad!!

Other ways to make money:


VIPKID gives one-time bonuses for teachers who help others through the hiring process. Usually, this is $100 and is given to the referring teacher after the new teacher teaches their first class. This is why some teachers/ads/groups can feel sales-y.

In all reality, you can be hired without a referring teacher. I clicked a Facebook ad. I do wish that I had had that mentor though because there is so much and I was so afraid that I was missing something. The bonus does not come out of your pay. There is nothing connecting you to that teacher like in an MLM company. It really is at no risk to you.

Incentives and Contests

Sometimes VIPKID runs incentives where you’ll earn extra money for teaching a certain number of classes, or working on a specific day. They occasionally hold contests and you can earn extra cash that way. These are less reliable because there are a lot of teachers, and it’s usually not a significant pay boost.

There are raises!

After you’ve taught for the company for a year, you are eligible for a small raise. Usually about $0.50 per hour, which isn’t terrible. (My husband recently got a whopping $0.04 raise…)

There are promotions!

If you stand out as an excellent teacher, VIPKID may reach out to you for help with curriculum development, teaching older students, helping hire new teachers, or even toteach in online rural classrooms.

The easy answers…

You do not need a weird bank account. You’re an independent contractor, not a criminal. Part of the application process includes setting up your bank account information. I use a popular, national bank, and have had zero issues. I did have to call the bank for help with the setup so there was no fee when VIPKID transferred the money, but it was really not a big deal.

For better or worse, we are paid once a month on the 15th. It’s nice to get that chunk of money all at once, but if you have bills spread out through the month, it can be tricky. I have never had a single issue with payment, and when I hear about issues on Facebook, VIPKID is quick to correct them.

Not so bad, right? Remember that we are independent contractors, and we’ve been hired by a foreign company. What is it Cinderella says? “Have courage, and be kind.” It’s really not as scary as all that. 🙂

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