If you’re looking for a way to make some extra freelance income, there are many ways to do so. As you might know, I spent two years teaching English in South Korea and really enjoyed my time there. Now that I’m back home, most of my focus is working on freelance writing projects. But, I still miss and enjoy teaching! I decided to start teaching online on a part-time basis. This allows me to make some extra income and continue teaching — from the comfort of home! Are you interested in making some part-time money from home, too? Here’s how to make extra income teaching English online…
I started teaching from home about 2.5 months ago. My husband is a teacher, so he gets up for work at 6:00 am. I started getting in the habit of waking up early, too — so I now tend to teach about 7-9 am on weekdays. This works well for me because it wakes me up, gives me the chance to work on something else that I enjoy, and it also gets it done and out of the way before I start my writing work for the day. Somedays I work a bit later or switch up my hours a bit. I love the flexibility.
So, what is the company? How does it work?
VIPKID is a company that offers English lessons to children in China. Teachers teach students via video online. This is a great way for Chinese students to improve their English schools without having to work with a foreign teacher in person. It’s also a great way for native English speakers to make extra money and take part in a new experience.
How much can be made?
It really varies — but generally, you can make up to about $24 an hour teaching. You’re offered a starting pay level based on your experience. There’s also some extra incentives, that seem confusing at first, but I’ll explain those later on. Those incentives get added together at the end of the month to increase your pay even more. You choose how little or how often you want to work. There are currently no weekly minimum teaching hours in place.
Some important information:
- You must have a bachelor’s level degree and be a native English speaker to teach for VIPKID.
- You can teach for VIPKID if you live in the following places: USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, East and Southeast Asia.
- They will provide you with all powerpoint/teaching slides.
- Each class is 25 minutes long. You have a 5-minute break in between class. You do need to write down a couple of notes about each class (student level, did they do a good job?) so it’s best to do this between classes — then you don’t have to worry about it later!
- You will get a rate of $7-9 per 25 min class. This is decided when you interview based on your experience level. I have BA degree, but no teaching degree. I do have a TEFL and have 2 years experience teaching in South Korea — they assigned me a starting rate of $8 per 25-minute class, so I make $16 per teaching hour.
- If a student books one of your classes within 24 hours, you make an extra $2 per class. This brings my 24-hour-notice class rate to $10 per class. You have control if you want to be available within 24 hours or not — I choose to do this sometimes because of the extra money.
- If a student is a no-show for a regular class, you still get paid 100% of your normal rate. You must stay in the online classroom in case they show up. If they don’t show up for a regular class, I still make my $8 for that scheduled class.
- If a student is a no-show for a mock class (students who are not officially VIPKID students yet), you get 50% of your normal teaching rate. In this case, I make $4. You still have to stay in the classroom, in case they show up. (One time I started making scrambled eggs in the background 5 minutes into class — and the student showed up a couple of minutes later!!! haha!)
- You can make an extra $1 per scheduled class as a participation incentive (this is calculated at the end of the month). If you as a teacher no-show or cancel a class within 24 hours, money is subtracted from that class. I’ll explain this more below.
- You can make an extra 50 cents – $1 per finished class as a finished class incentive. This is available if you teach over 30 classes per month. If you teach 30-44 classes, you make an extra 50 cents per class. If you teach 45 or more classes per month, you make an extra $1 per class. I’ll explain this more below.
- Pay is once a month for the following month. If you teach during the month of June — you’ll get paid July 15th.
This may all sound a bit confusing. Believe me — I was a bit confused at first, too. Let me show you my March breakdown to make it a bit easier to understand!
Here’s a look at my pay breakdown for March:
In March, I made $714 teaching with VIPKID.
I taught 29 hours or 58 classes — but I was available for a total of 31.5 hours. Basically for 2.5 hours (or 5 classes) — my students were “no show” students. As mentioned above, I have to keep the classroom up and open — but it’s easy to just read a book or check your emails, etc. if this happens!
Some of my classes I made $8 per class, which is my normal per class rate — some of them were booked within 24 hours — so I made $10 per class.
Since I taught over 45 classes for the month, I was able to earn an extra $1 per class for participation. Since I didn’t cancel any classes or miss them, I also got $1 per class that my student no-showed. So — I got an extra $63 added to my hourly class pay.
They also have another $1 incentive for finished classes — since I technically finished 61 classes (sat there ready to teach for the couple that my students didn’t attend), I made another $63.
I also had 6 of my trial students sign up for the program as regular students. I get $5 everytime this happens with a trial student. So I made an extra $30 for this in March.
Finally, I referred a friend of mine who also taught with me in South Korea — and I made $50 once she officially signed up and started teaching. The referral fee is usually $50 per teacher sign up — but sometimes they have months where they throw in a little extra as an incentive.
This is how my $714 factored out. Including the student sign-ups and my one referral — this comes to $24.62 per hour for the 29 teaching hours that I did last month.
How does the application process work?
Are you ready to make extra income teaching English online? First head to the VIPKID application page to submit your information. You’ll be asked a few questions about who you are and your experience. If you pass the initial screening, you’ll be invited to interview. You’ll set up a time to interview with a VIPKID staff member in China. This is your chance to better explain why you’d be a great fit for the job! During the interview, you will also spend about 10 minutes teaching a portion of a class. Don’t worry — they will provide you with materials ahead of time.
If all goes well, you’ll be invited to teach a mock class. This will actually be done with a teacher trainer who is in the US. Your trainer will talk with about your strengths and weaknesses. You will then be asked to attend a second and final mock class. This will be scheduled with a different trainer and you will do a test run of teaching and be graded again. Finally — you will hear back within a couple of days on your acceptance! At that point, you will sign and upload a contract and fill out other important info. Be prepared to have a copy of your BA degree on hand for this part. Once in the system, you’ll be able to fill out a profile (which potential students and parents can see!) and upload a short video.
You Too Can Make Extra Income Teaching English Online
While this seems like a long and drawn-out process — it is worth it. I spread each step out a bit and completely them all within about a week and a half. So, if you enjoy teaching and working with children and want to make some additional income, I encourage you to apply to VIPKID.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comment and I’ll try to help out the best I can! 🙂