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What is MagicEars?
Updated September 2018 to reflect new hiring requirements – read more below.
Don’t believe me? Just look at our Online Teaching Job Board in April 2018 and count how many Magic Ears jobs there are:
According to their site, MagicEars strives to provide quality English lessons to Chinese students aged 5-12 while also providing their teachers with the opportunity to grow within the organization.
From all accounts (more on what the teachers think later), MagicEars has a quality online teaching platform, an abundance of students looking for lessons, and a great training/feedback program for their teachers. This makes them a solid alternative to anyone looking for an option other than the online teaching incumbents of VIPKID and DaDaABC.
Want more details on teaching for MagicEars? Let’s dive in!
What are the teaching requirements for MagicEars?
Updated September 2018 – MagicEars now requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.
Compared to other teaching companies, the teaching requirements for MagicEars are pretty reasonable:
That’s right – there are only 2 core requirements:
- Native speaker from USA or Canada
- Bachelor’s degree
Unfortunately, while it used to be possible to teach for MagicEars without a degree, they have updated their requirements as of September 2018. Also, teachers now tell us your application will be rejected outright if you put “0” as your years of teaching experience.
Here’s the catch: they do prioritize their applicants so to stand out with no degree you will really need to wow them in your demo (more on this later).
There are also the technical requirements to be aware of:
Let’s break them down:
- Make sure you always have a good illumination, a clean and kid-friendly background, and a quiet environment: this is the biggest one as they are known sticklers for your teaching environment – they want to see a headset (check out our recs here), no shadows (invest in a good lamp), and a colorful background.
- Please prepare a strong and stable, plugged in cable internet. The minimum requirement for both download and upload speed is 10 Mbps: the Magic Ears platform is pretty heavy on the bandwidth use so internet is a big deal – they will mention any lags, freezes, or dropped classes and insist you move from wifi to a wired connection. Check your speed here.
- Processor: CPU I5 4th Generation and at least 4gb of memory: Check your computer stats here: Mac or Windows.
Finally, Magic Ears recommends that you use at least 2 props per class so it’s a good idea to get those prepared now so you can use them during your interview. You can start with our list of our 9 Favorite Magic Ears Props.
What does MagicEars pay?
Magic Ears advertises an hourly rate between $18-$26 (or $9-$13 per class) but like other online teaching companies, this is based on your base pay + performance + bonuses.
On average, teachers report their total salaries to be higher than other online teaching companies – this is reflected in their Glassdoor reviews:
MagicEars does a great job breaking out their pay scale on their site, let’s take a look to see how their teachers maximize their salaries!
For the sake of simplicity, let’s use the class rate to discuss how much you can make teaching at MagicEars.
- Base Rate: based on your credentials (remember what we said about having a degree and experience?) you will receive $9-$11 out of the gate.
- Participation: if you arrive to each class at least 8 minutes early, you will receive an extra $1 per class.
- Peak Time: if you open your schedule to more than 60 classes per month, you will receive an extra $1 per every class
- Performance: MagicEars evaluates it’s teachers quarterly and you will be eligible for an undisclosed bonus if they are happy with your teaching
So, how much can you make with Magic Ears? Let’s do some math:
Let’s say that your base rate is $10 per class, you teach 100 classes per month , and you’re 10 minutes early to half of those classes. For that month you’d make $1000 for the classes ($10 x 100 classes), $100 peak time bonus ($1 x 100 classes) and $50 for participation ($1 x 50 classes) for total of $1150, or $23 per hour.
Not bad, right?
Here’s a great overview of the Magic Ears pay and salary:
How does MagicEars pay you?
Teachers are paid on the 10th of every month for the previous months’ classes and have the option of receiving their money via Paypal or bank transfer. Unlike other companies, MagicEars pays for any currency fees associated with the payment.
What about taxes?
You will be classified as an independent contractor during your time at MagicEars which means you are responsible for reporting your income and paying taxes. While this takes a bit more work on your part, it’s pretty straightforward when you understand the process – Americans can start with this guide from the IRS if you have questions.
What is the MagicEars interview and hiring process?
Assuming you meet the teaching requirements for MagicEars and are happy with their pay scale, the next piece of the puzzle is actually landing the job.
Luckily, MagicEars has a well-defined hiring process (albeit a bit lengthy) with a ton of training – with a bit of preparation there is no reason why you can’t be up and teaching in 2 weeks!
All progress will be tracked on the website so you can login and check your status any time – it’s also where you will schedule the relevant steps. Let’s take a look at the process in more detail as any mistakes can cause delays in your application.
Submit Your Application
you can do that here and make sure to include all relevant documents like a degree, TEFL certificate, and up to date resume.
Schedule a Demo
Just like VIPKID, you have the option of doing this live or recording it. Both options will use the MagicEars platform and will be based on provided lesson slides.
It’s important you prepare for this demo class as it’s a core component of the application process – we recommend focusing on your Total Physical Response and incorporating some props.
MagicEars requires applicants to undergo 2 different trainings during their hiring process – both are paid and both take place on the Magic Ears platform.
- 1 v 4 Training – this will be you + 2 other teachers + a trainer and will cover the policies for both Magic Ears as a company and their teachers + classes. Expect this to take 30-60 minutes.
- 1 v 1 Training – this will be just you and the trainer and is a really beneficial part of the MagicEars interview process – the entire purpose of this training is to prepare you for your first class. The trainer will have you teach a bit, offer feedback, and then teach it again – if you listen to and adopt their recommendations you will knock the trial class out of the park!
This is it – the real deal. Despite the name, this is a legitimate class with real students – the only differences is that it will be evaluated by Magic Ears trainers.
Similar to the demo class, make sure to prepare for this ahead of time, use props, and incorporate the feedback you received from the 1 v 1 training session.
Contract + Background Check
If you did well then you will move ahead to the contract phase where you will need to sign your contract and provide relevant information for Magic Ears to run a background check.
If your trial class wasn’t sufficient, you will receive a bit more training and feedback in preparation for a 2nd trial class. Don’t stress about this – Magic Ears wants to see their teachers success and 2nd trials classes are quite common.
This is it – you’re an official MagicEars teacher! You are now able to book classes and start teaching immediately – congratulations!
Want more detail? Check out this video from Teacher Janice:
MagicEars Schedule + Hours
MagicEars offers classes 7 days a week – they are all 25 minutes long and are scheduled on Beijing time. While the majority of classes will be in the morning for teachers, MagicEars does offer classes all day Saturday and Sunday so you can really boost your earnings if you have weekend availability.
Teachers are responsible for ‘opening’ their schedule based on when they want to teach – students are then assigned based on your open slots. Based on your availability, your teaching schedule will be released the night before your classes so you can review the material and prepare.
Because class booking are automated, it’s rare to have repeat students (though it does happen). The likelihood of your schedule filling up entirely is based on your ‘Teacher Rank’ – a score that is determined by student feedback and the number of classes you teach – the more you teach and the better your feedback makes it more likely your schedule will fill up, though most teachers find their schedule are usually close to full regardless.
The Magic Ears Curriculum + Platform
The Magic Ears teaching platform is an interactive 4 x1 system where teachers can give lessons, reward students, and leave feedback after the lesson.
For an in-depth look at the functionality, check out this video on how the platform performs during an actual lesson:
Regarding the curriculum, almost all teachers report it to be diverse and engaging. By diverse they mean that there are seemingly endless lessons and slides aimed at every level – I’ve spoken to teachers that have been teaching for Magic Ears for months and haven’t taught the same lesson! Those same teachers said that in a single day, they could teach phonics to young learners and then teach pollution to higher levels.
The Magic Ears curriculum is engaging because each lesson comes with slides, a video, and a game – it’s your responsibility to get through the entire lesson and most teachers report there is more than enough material to fill a class.
An important thing to note is that all of the curriculum is provided to teachers prior to the class, which makes prep really easy. Most teachers report taking time the night before classes to review lessons and plan how they will teach them.
Is MagicEars for you?
While MagicEars used to be pretty easy to work for, recent updates now require applicants to have both teaching experience and at least a bachelor’s degree. If you can meet both of those requirements then they are still one of the best paying and most reputable companies out there – plus they have a stellar teaching community with an incredible Facebook page available to all teachers.
Ready to teach for MagicEars?
Hopefully, this answers most of your questions related to teaching for MagicEars – feel free to submit your application here or contact us for anything we forgot to cover!