What is Magic Ears?
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, Magic Ears strives to provide quality English lessons to Chinese students aged 4-12 while also providing their teachers with the opportunity to grow within the organization.
From all accounts (more on what the teachers think later), Magic Ears 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 Magic Ears? Let’s dive in!
What are the teaching requirements for Magic Ears?
Compared to other teaching companies, the teaching requirements for Magic Ears are pretty reasonable:
That’s right – there are only 4 core requirements:
- Speak English at an idiomatic level
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher; students currently pursuing a bachelor’s are also accepted
- Have a 120-Hour ESL Certification (TEFL, TESOL, CELTA)
- Teaching experience preferred
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Unfortunately, while it used to be possible to teach for Magic Ears 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.
If you are a current student, you will be asked to provide an official transcript that shows your active enrollment. Be sure to select “undergraduate student” on the application.
There are also the technical requirements to be aware of:
- Computer: Windows desktop or laptop later than Windows 7 // Mac desktop or laptop later than MacOSX 10.11.
- Processor: CPU I5 4th Generation, models with suffices M, HQ, HK, and above.
- Memory: 4GB and above.
- Internet speeds: 20mbps download and 5mbps upload are the minimum internet speeds. An ethernet cord is strongly recommended for internet stability.
What Doesn’t Work
- Computer: Other devices, such as Chromebooks and iPads, will NOT work with the Magic Ears platform.
- Processor: Models with a Y suffix. Because these models stand for low energy consumption, they can cause a lot of issues with the platform, including lags and loss of platform functions. // A10 generation and below will not work for AMD processors, nor will Radeon or Pentium processors.
Finally, Magic Ears requires 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.
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Magic Ears Salary: What do they pay?
Your base pay is determined during your application period before you sign your first contract. Depending on your qualifications, you can earn up to $10 per class on your first contract with Magic Ears.
To qualify for a higher base pay rate, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- Taught 3,000 online classes with other online English teaching companies*
- Taught 5,000 online classes with other online English teaching companies* AND hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in English Language Teaching, Early Childhood Education, or Special Education.
*Students must be Chinese; experience from multiple companies can be combined, but previous Magic Ears experience does not qualify.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s use the class rate to discuss how much you can make teaching at Magic Ears.
- Base Rate: Based on your credentials, you will receive up to $10 out of the gate.
- Participation Bonus: If you arrive 3-10 minutes before your first class of the day, you’ll earn an extra $1 per class taught.
- Peak Time Bonus: If you open more than 60 peak hour classes per month, you will earn an extra $1 per every class taught.
- Performance: With each contract renewal, you have the opportunity to exchange your earned Peak Carrots* for a base pay raise if you meet the qualifications.
*Teachers earn Peak Carrots for opening slots with Magic Ears, which can be used to cancel classes, exchange for merch credits, or earn a raise or bonus upon contract renewal.
So, how much can you make with Magic Ears? Let’s do some math:
Let’s say that your base rate is $8.50 per class, you teach 100 classes in a month (60 are peak), and you’re 5 minutes early every morning. For that month, you’d make $850 for the classes ($8.50 x 100 classes), $100 peak time bonus ($1 x 100 classes) and $100 for participation ($1 x 100 classes) for total of $1,050, or $21 per hour.
Not bad, right?
Here’s a great overview of the Magic Ears pay and salary:
How does Magic Ears pay you?
Teachers are paid on the 10th business day of the month for the previous months’ classes and have the option of receiving their money via Paypal or bank transfer. Magic Ears currently covers the fees for PayPal transfers. If you opt for a bank transfer, you are responsible for the handling fees charged by the receiving bank.
What about taxes?
You will be classified as an independent contractor during your time at Magic Ears 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 Magic Ears interview and hiring process?
Assuming you meet the teaching requirements for Magic Ears and are happy with their pay scale, the next piece of the puzzle is actually landing the job.
In fall 2020, Magic Ears streamlined its hiring process and teachers can begin teaching in as quickly as two days!
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 and reach out for support during the application process. Let’s take a look 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 photo, degree, TEFL certificate, and up-to-date resume.
Interview Demo (recorded or live)
If your application is successful, you will be invited to complete an Interview Demo. Just like VIPKID, you have the option of doing this live or recording it:
- Recorded: Using your phone or computer to record, follow the prompts listed in the Portal to create and submit your demo. You do not need to download the platform or schedule a time.
- Live: Schedule a time in the Teacher Portal or reach out using the “Contact Us” option if there are no times available. You will meet the interviewer on the Teaching Platform for the interview and teaching demo.
If you pass the Interview Demo, a Success Manager will email you to provide training video resources and to schedule your Trial Demo, which lasts about 10-20 minutes. You will be asked to teach a ~10 minute demo lesson on the Teaching Platform with the trainer acting as your student. The trainer will cue you when you need to stop, and then provide some feedback on your teaching performance. You may be asked to complete a second Trial Demo.
Background Check & Contract Offer
If you did well, you will move ahead to the contract phase where you will need to review and sign your 6-month contract and provide relevant information for Magic Ears to run a background check. In this stage, you should discuss your base pay offer with Magic Ears before returning your signed contract.
This is it – you’re an official Magic Ears teacher! You are now able to book classes and start teaching immediately – congratulations!
Magic Ears Hours & Schedule
As of September 2020, Magic Ears has two categories for classes: Peak and Non-Peak. Magic Ears 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, Magic Ears does offer morning and evening classes on Saturday and Sunday so you can really boost your earnings if you have weekend availability.
Teachers can keep track of schedule changes in the Teacher Portal.
Teachers are responsible for ‘opening’ their schedule based on when they want to teach – students are then assigned based on your open slots. Bookings are not final until the confirmation email and DingTalk messages are sent around 10pm BJT for the next day’s (BJT morning/evening) booked classes. You should not have any slots booked after the confirmation email is sent unless you are teaching on standby.
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’ – the more you teach and the better your feedback makes it more likely your schedule will fill up.
The Magic Ears Curriculum + Platform
Magic Ears offers 1v4 and 1v1 classes on its interactive platform where teachers can give lessons and reward students. 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. Teachers are expected to bring passion into every class they teach.
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.
Here’s an example of what classes look like from the teachers’ side:
Is Magic Ears for you?
While Magic Ears 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 Magic Ears?
Hopefully, this answers most of your questions related to teaching for Magic Ears – feel free to submit your application here or contact us for anything we forgot to cover!
Can you teach for Magic Ears without a bachelor’s degree?
Yes, but only if you are currently pursuing 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?
No, you must have a 120-credit-hour certification in order to teach for Magic Ears.