Do I need a TESOL certificate to work for VIPKid?

VIPKid was, until quite recently, one of the top platforms for teaching young learners online. However, as of July 2021, the Chinese government changed the laws regarding online teaching and made it illegal to promote English lessons for Chinese students if the teachers are outside of the country. Essentially, if you want to teach young Chinese students online, then you now need to actually be in the country and not working from overseas. This shift in policy has had a big impact on VIPKid’s operations and they are no longer the major player they once were in this particular teaching environment.

Can I still work for VIPKid?

Despite the change in laws within China, VIPKid says it is to continue offering lessons for adult students in China from outside the country as this is not affected by the new legislation. It has also launched a new global service that is aimed at young learners in other countries around the world. However, these major changes to their operation have been slow to take off and it seems that many teachers who have signed up with them in recent times have reported that it is hard to find many students right now as the demand has yet to match the number of teachers on the books. The best advice is to check the latest reviews and reports online before you start the application process.

Do VIPKid teachers need a TESOL certificate?

Despite the recent upheavals in the VIPKid work model, they are still taking on new teachers, although it might take some time to get a full schedule of lessons. If you choose to apply for VIPKid you will find that a TESOL qualification is part of the criteria when applying. However, while a TESOL certificate is officially required, it is possible to complete this after you have applied and been accepted by the platform. To give yourself the best chance of being accepted and subsequently the best chance of finding enough students, we would recommend completing a minimum of a 120-hour TESOL course before you send in your application.

What other criteria does VIPKid ask for?

The main requirement is that you are eligible to work within the US or Canada (although the states of California, New York and Washington are not eligible due to local tax laws). The company will also pay for a federal background check on all applicants. A four-year degree is required and at least two years experience of working with children is recommended. Finally, a stable internet connection and basic computer equipment are both prerequisites for working on the VIPKid platform.

How much does VIPKid pay?

Since the change in approach brought about by the new Chinese laws on online teaching, VIPKid has had to review what it pays its teachers and unfortunately it is not the best news. The pay for each 25 minute class is now $7, which equates to about $14 per hour, a marked decrease in what was paid before the changes came into place. However, VIPKid says it is possible to raise your pay up to $22 per hour by teaching over a certain number of classes per month and by making referrals. There is no minimum number of hours you have to commit to, so your time table can be as much or as little as you prefer.


Due to recent changes to their online model, VIPKid is no longer one of the top online teaching platforms. However, if and when they manage to establish their new Global service this might change and the platform could regain its previous status. The best advice before you apply is to check online and see what teachers and students are saying about the current status of the platform and whether it is worth signing on now or if you should try elsewhere until things improve.

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