Want to work from home or while traveling? Tired of your hourly commute every morning? Have passion (and patience) for teaching English?
People often wonder how travelers make their money on the go. Today, I’d like to share my experiences with VIPKID and ITutorGroup and how that made it possible for me to do all these things. Both are online education platforms, designed to teach English as Second Language to folks in Asia. It’s real and it pays. I have worked as many as 30 hours a week, but I’ve known people who have quit their full time jobs and made a career out of teaching online full time. Without further ado, let’s jump right to it!
VIPKid is basically an online education platform that allows you to teach children, aged 5 to 12, one-on-one classes through a teaching portal, sort of like Skype. The children can speak as little as no English, so you will rely on repetition and total physical response to teach. Goofy props are recommended ;).
See what it’s like to teach with VIPKid here.
The hiring process consisted of an interview and 2 demos. You must demonstrate your ability to communicate grammar concepts to kids. The process takes about two weeks, requiring personal documents and banking information for direct deposits.
- Based on how well you do in your interview and demos, VIPKID will give you a base pay range of $7-9 per class (25 minutes). Already, you have an opportunity to earn $14-16 per hour from home.
- In addition, there are up to $2 bonus/class for attendance and quantity of classes you teach. That is potential earning of $18-22 per hour.
- Wait, there’s more. VIPKid often gives incentives during the spring and summer seasons with bonus potential of up to $5 per class. That is an earning potential of up to $23-27!
What I like:
- There are no minimum hours required, yay! Flexible schedules weekly. <3
- The children are sweet and funny. It is less of teaching and more of hanging out with them.
- There’s an excellent community of teachers right beside you, experiencing your joys and frustrations of teaching together.
- Powerpoints of 25-35 slides are provided for you. No lesson planning!
- VIPKID has a high demand of teachers. I got scheduled from the first day of hire. Having a fun profile picture and an impressive introduction helps booking rates a lot.
Not so fond of:
- Teachers get six allotted amounts of no-shows before termination of contract. VIPKID shows no regard to family emergency, traffic, or health conditions. Once you hit 6 no-shows, they will terminate your contract.
- The peak hours of teaching at VIPKID are based on Beijing time. That means very early work hours in North America. I typically set my hours from 7AM-9:30AM, which gives me room to do other things.
- Bachelor’s degree in any field OR Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education
- I highly recommend obtaining a TEFL Certification. It is really the only thing you need to be able to teach. Certification typically costs about $12 these days for an online course on Groupon.
If you think you might be interested in applying, click here for my referral link! Please make sure you’ve researched the program before you commit to the hours!
ITutorGroup is also an online education platform. Unlike VIPKid, ITutorGroup caters to adults as well as children. Unlike VIPKid, you will be teaching as many as six students at once, so be prepared.
See what it’s like to teach at ITutorGroup here.
The hiring process was very quick and easy. My interview only lasted 5 minutes; I was hired immediately. Because the interview was so informal, it seems that their biggest concern was determining your fluency and teaching experience. I never sent a proof of diploma for my BA degree, so I guess they took my word for it.
- Their base pay is $7.5 per class (45 minutes), which is very low.
- However, their bonus system is what’s bringing in the money. Teachers get an additional $2-4 per student if they give a 10 star rating. So, if the class has five students, the teacher can earn as much as $27.5/hour!
- TEFL Certification (or willingness to obtain it) – Certification typically costs about $12 for an online course on Groupon. I highly recommend getting one.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher in any field
- Minimum of 1 year teaching experience
What I like:
- Teaching adults is a great experience and often has fun culture-exchange conversations.
- Unlike VIPKID, ITutorGroup is more lenient with their no-show policies.
- There is a high potential earning, with positive feedback.
Not so fond of:
- Their bonus system is based on ratings, and makes me feel like I have to sell myself, for maybe a feedback.
- Students who have IT problems with rate you negatively. There is a way to contest unfair feedback, however, so don’t worry.
- ITutorGroup’s teaching platform is not as well done as VIPKID’s. The platform seems to be made by an amateur. Navigation is complicated, and buttons are confusing.
So there it is. There are pros and cons to both sides. I use ITutorGroup for a bonding experience and conversations with other adults. I use VIPKID for its more stable source income. I think they both are excellent sources of income supplement. It’s up to you to decide what’s best.
Questions? Comments? Let’s chat below!