Do I need a TEFL certificate to work for VIPKid?

Until recently, VIPKid was a leading platform for online teaching to young learners. But as of July 2021, changes to Chinese law have prohibited the promotion of English lessons taught by instructors outside China to Chinese students. In essence, to teach Chinese children online, you now need to be physically located in China, not abroad. This law change significantly impacted VIPKid’s operations, reducing their previously prominent position in this teaching environment.

Can I still work for VIPKid?

Despite these legal changes in China, VIPKid has continued to offer lessons to adult students in China from abroad, as the new laws do not affect this. They have also introduced a new global service targeting young learners worldwide. However, these substantial operational changes are yet to take off, with many newly recruited teachers reporting difficulty finding students due to the supply of teachers currently outstripping demand. We advise checking the most recent reviews and updates online before beginning the application process.

Also read: How to go from teaching English online to teaching in-class?

Do VIPKid teachers need a TEFL certificate?

Despite recent changes, VIPKid continues to hire new teachers, but filling your schedule may take time. When applying to VIPKid, a TEFL qualification is part of the required criteria. However, it is possible to obtain this qualification after applying and getting accepted by the platform. To maximize your chances of acceptance and finding enough students, we recommend completing a minimum 120-hour TEFL course before applying.

What other criteria does VIPKid ask for?

VIPKid primarily requires you to be eligible to work in the US or Canada, with the exceptions of California, New York, and Washington due to local tax laws. They will also fund a federal background check for all applicants. You must have a four-year degree and at least two years of experience working with children. A stable internet connection and basic computer equipment are essential prerequisites for teaching on the VIPKid platform.

Also read: How do Americans get a criminal background check for teaching English abroad?

How much does VIPKid pay?

The new Chinese laws on online teaching forced VIPKid to reassess its pay rates, and unfortunately, this wasn’t good news for teachers. The payment per 25-minute class is now $7, which equates to around $14 per hour, significantly less than previous rates. VIPKid suggests it is possible to boost your earnings up to $22 per hour by teaching a certain number of classes per month and making referrals. There is no minimum commitment of hours, so your schedule can be as flexible as you want.


Due to changes in their online model, VIPKid has lost its status as a top online teaching platform. However, if they successfully establish their new global service, this situation may change, and the platform could regain its previous stature. Before applying, we advise checking online for the latest teacher and student feedback on the current state of the platform and whether it is worth signing up now, or if you should consider other options until conditions improve.

Also read: How do I create my own online teaching business?