Teach for MagicEars: A Guide to Getting Hired in 2019

by: Emma Searight ESL Authority Emma Searight | Last Updated October 25, 2019

Magic Ears Overview

Average Salary
$23/hr
Native Speaker Required?
Yes
TEFL Required?
No
Degree Required?
Yes
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What is MagicEars?

Updated February 2019 to reflect new hiring requirements – read more below.

MagicEars is the new kid on the block when it comes to teaching online and they entered the space aggressively in 2017 with a huge push to recruit teachers.

Don’t believe me?  Just look at our Online Teaching Job Board in April 2018 and count how many Magic Ears jobs there are:

magic ears jobs

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.

Related: Interested in VIPKID or DaDaABC?  Read our hiring guides: How to Get a Job with VIPKID in 2018 and Teaching for DaDaABC in 2018 to learn more!

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:

magic ears requirements

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).

Related: Check Out our Favorite Online TEFL Courses

There are also the technical requirements to be aware of:

magic ears tech requirements

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.

MagicEars Salary: What do they 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 MagicEars salaries to be higher than other online teaching companies – this is reflected in their Glassdoor reviews:

magic ears average pay

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!

magic ears pay

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!

Update – scroll down for info on their hiring fast track “MAFT” which can get you in front of students within 48 hours if you qualify!

magic ears application

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.

Trainings

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!

Trial Class

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.

Start Teaching

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 Applicant Fast Track

In late 2018, MagicEars introduced the MAFT program, or “MagicEars Applicant Fast Track”, in order to get qualified teachers hired and teaching within 48 hours.  At the time of writing, this program was by invitation only and a result of your initial interview performance, though we do have a few more details.

Aspiring MagicEars teachers will submit their applications as normal and then schedule an interview if the application is approved.

From there, applicants who really knock the socks off of their interviewer will be invited by email to pursue MAFT.  If you qualify, you’ll receive specialized training (including a demo lesson) from your success manager and be able to schedule your trial class in as little as 12 hours.

If you pass your trial class you’re then free to start opening your class schedule!

MagicEars has the full details in their overview video:

MagicEars Hours & Schedule 

As of 2019, MagicEars hours are broken into 3 categories: Peak, Regular & Special.  Whereas they were previously closed M-F 9am-5pm Beijing time, they now denote these slots as “Special”.

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 Western teachers, MagicEars does offer classes all day Saturday and Sunday so you can really boost your earnings if you have weekend availability.  

magicears hours 2019

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 is 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!

FAQs

Can you teach for Magic Ears without a bachelor’s degree?

No, you cannot currently teach for Magic Ears if you do not have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Can you teach for Magic Ears if you’re not a native speaker?

No, you must be a native speaker to teach for Magic Ears.

Can you teach for Magic Ears without a TEFL certificate?

Yes, you can teach for Magic Ears without a TEFL certificate.

Other Resources

Emma Searight ESL Authority

Emma Searight

Emma is a writer for ESL Authority and a former teacher. She lives down by the sea in Cornwall, and enjoys surfing, cold water swimming, and going on adventures.

34 Comments

  1. Is Magic Ears platform web based? Do I need to download anythng?

    Reply
    • As of 6mo ago you needed to download a program – I believe that is still the case.

      Reply
      • Hi am very much interested in this kind of job please please.Am interested in online teaching

        Reply
        • Hi Yvonne – please apply via the link.

          Reply
    • Will Magic Ears hire you if you have a years experience teaching children but have never taugh ESL?

      Reply
      • Yes – it shouldn’t be a problem if you meet the other requirements.

        Reply
  2. 1. MagicEars has expanded their hours, need some updates
    2. MagicEars has a new program naming MAFT, allowing experienced teacher to get hired within 48hrs.

    Reply
    • Thanks Frank – we’ve updated the guide!

      Reply
  3. Does MAGIC EARS accept a Bachelor’s degree from the online University of Phoenix?

    Reply
    • Hi Debi – they only state that a “bachelor’s degree” is needed so as long as yours qualifies I don’t think it’d be a problem.

      Reply
    • Do you accept applications from Australians?

      Reply
      • Hi Rowena – we aren’t MagicEars but it looks like they require “Native speaker from USA or Canada” so Australians wouldn’t qualify – sorry!

        Reply
      • *Do you need to provide a w9 tax form when applying to teach for Magic Ears?

        Reply
        • Hi Joy – we haven’t seen any reports of needing one but you should check with the company itself to confirm.

          Reply
  4. Will Magic Ears accept someone without a degree but who has been teaching English in a home schooling environment for the last few years? Living in South Africa.

    Reply
    • Hi Inge – I dont believe so, they are quite strict with their requirements & you’ll need a proper 4-year degree.

      Reply
  5. I was wondering if it’s possible to take a couple of weeks off for vacation with this company, or not? Some of the other companies are pretty strict and want you to fulfill the contract without more than a day or two off here and there.

    Reply
    • Hi Mel – I can’t say for certain (nor could I find any research on the topic) but I would not count on being able to take a few weeks off – as you said, most online teaching companies are quite strict.

      Reply
  6. Will Magic Ears accept application from a Ghanaian?

    Reply
    • Unfortunately you must be a native speaker from USA or Canada.

      Reply
  7. With the newly expanded hours, is it possible for a teacher to work 40 hours a week if they have the availability?

    Reply
    • I’m unfamiliar with the expanded hours but you’re welcome to work as long as there is availability – 40hrs seems like it’d be hard to achieve without significant peak time.

      Reply
  8. Is there a contract involved? I am getting married in the fall and as the wedding gets closer I won’t be available to teach as much.

    Reply
    • Yes, there is a contract and I believe it’s for 6mo – getting significant time off during this period will be difficult and you should explain your wedding from the start.

      Reply
  9. How many hours a week are you expected to work? And what days? What if you can’t work 7 days a week or need to work at specific times (for example, 4 p.m. PST to 9 p.m. PST.) Who sets the hours?

    Reply
    • As we understand it, teachers are responsible for opening their own schedules so you can make yourself available as much or as little as you want. When it comes to hours, there are working hours as defined in this guide and you are responsible for setting your schedule based on when you are available.

      Reply
  10. Hi I would love to teach English online.

    Reply
    • Hi Saeeda – you can apply via the links above – we are not affiliated with MagicEars and do not do any of the hiring. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Hi There! 🙂 Just taking a chance in asking how strict they still are with the USA and Canada only candidates? Im from South Afrjca, have a 4 year teaching degree plus 5 years of teaching English, which includes 1 year online and am currently busy obtaining my Master’s TEFL. Do you think they would concider my application?

      Reply
      • I believe they are quite strict and this is reinforced by the fact that they have no shortage of applicants from those countries – sorry!

        Reply
  11. Hi I am very interested, I am a university student studying Bsc Radiation therapy. I have a TEFL certificate and I volunteered in Thailand for 2 months to teach english. Would I be able to apply?

    Reply
    • Anyone is welcome to apply via the link above – we are not affiliated with MagicEars and don’t do any of the hiring.

      Reply
  12. Do you teach through Skype?

    Reply
    • No, you use a dedicated MagicEars program.

      Reply

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