Magic Ears Review: What to Expect in 2021

This post will discuss in detail everything you need to know about teaching English online with Magic Ears.

Do you want to be able to work from home or another location while earning money off of your laptop?

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If the answer is yes, well, good news!

Now you can do just that, and live anywhere in the world, by teaching at Magic Ears.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it is for some because the company has a strict hiring process which we’ll get to in this article.

Read our Magic Ears review of the job, requirements and pay in 2021. This is the only guide you need to get started and teach your first class!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Magic Ears in a Nutshell

Magic Ears is a great online ESL company to consider if you want to teach online. It is a flexible company that works well for many of its teachers.

Magic Ears is a suitable option for those who speak English at an idiomatic level and love children. Applicants are required to have at least one year of teaching experience (mentoring, coaching, etc., is also valid).

Teachers think that Magic Ears is an interactive, easy-to-use educational platform that offers lots of classes. However, slots may be slow to fill for the first three weeks when you are a new teacher and they want to ease you in to teaching group classes.

Magic Ears offers teachers a lot of resources to help them train and grow their professional teaching skills, so they can perform their best in the classroom. They encourage teachers to be fun and positive in the classroom, so the kids enjoy learning and look forward to their next class.

Classes are 25-minutes long and teachers are typically paid between $18-$26 per hour.

If this is a job that you think you would be interested in, apply by clicking the link below. Magic Ears will arrange a trainer to help you with your application process and teach your first set of classes.

Company Profile Overview

Magic Ears is an online ESL teaching company that connects English speakers to students ages 4-12 in China. It was founded in 2016 and has since begun hiring teachers from the US, Canada, and South Africa. 

Magic Ears is one of the highest-paying online ESL companies in the industry and teachers are expected to teach up to four students in a class.

Magic Ears Review: What do teachers think?

Seeing as this is a review post, let’s get straight to it. What do teachers think of Magic Ears?

As with every online teaching company, I like to be transparent and see what other teachers have to say. This will give you some insight into the Magic Ears culture and help shape your expectations for working there.

Magic Ears Review

The Good

Schedule: Teachers are very happy being able to schedule hours at their own pace and enjoy the comfort of working from home with an extremely flexible system (probably the best out there at present).

Good Pay: It is also noted that the pay is much higher than many online teaching companies, and it’s relatively easy to get the bonuses. 

Training: Teachers are encouraged to develop themselves professionally from the beginning. You can eventually apply for more positions to earn more salary.

Fun Environment: The teaching platform is very interactive and easy to use. The kids are great.

Overall, this seems like a pretty awesome company to work for and teachers are proud to represent the Magic Ears team.

The Bad

High Expectations: Magic Ears want teachers to maintain a high standard of teaching for each class. Teachers feel as though they have to be very energetic and entertaining for the classes which can sometimes be draining.

Teacher Feedback: Magic Ears give teachers feedback, and teachers are expected to take constructive criticism on board and adjust their teaching style for other classes accordingly. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but not all teachers will agree with the advice and suggestions made by Magic Ears.

Response Times: The support team is not always readily available to respond. There are mixed reviews on this, as some teachers say they are responsive through Skype messages.

New Teacher’s Schedule: It can take some time for you to build up your schedule and bookings on the platform. You won’t receive 100% booked slots immediately, however, this is the case with most online teaching companies.

Expect to wait a few weeks for a full schedule, as the bookings increase week by week.

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Teacher Requirements

What are the requirements to work at Magic Ears?

  • Speak English at an idiomatic level
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher, or be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • A teaching certificate, such as a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA
  • One year of teaching experience
  • Be passionate about teaching kids. 
  • Stable internet connection

Who Can Apply

Applicants from the US, Canada and South Africa.

Magic Ears are unfortunately not clear who they accept at the moment. While my application from Ireland was automatically declined, native English speakers elsewhere might have some luck.

They are not hiring from all native English-speaking countries despite their claims to hire those who speak English at an idiomatic level.

It seems like they just hire from the U.S., Canada, and South Africa at present.

I know that teachers from the U.K. and Australia have reportedly been accepted, but it’s hard to know if they still accept teachers from these locations.

You will find out in the basic information stage when you fill out your basic details, so there is no harm trying!

Magic Ears are not currently accepting Californian residents due to AB5 regulations.

One Year of Teaching Experience

Important: Your application will be automatically rejected if you say you have zero (0) years of experience.

Please consider the following as teaching experience when applying to Magic Ears:

  • Volunteering
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Classroom Teaching
  • Online Teaching

Talk yourself up as much as possible, focusing on the experience you have related to teaching.

If you have no experience, consider gaining some experience by teaching on a platform such as Cambly.

You Only Need to Know How to Speak English!

You will never be expected to teach or know Chinese.

With ESL teaching, we teach in the English language only. This is relatively easy to do, and any words that the students cannot understand we can explain through words or pictures.

Salary: How much do Magic Ears pay?

  • Base pay: $9-$11 per 25-minute class
  • $1 bonus for participation bonus
  • $1 bonus for peak-time bonus
  • Pay up to $26 per hour including bonuses.

Base Rate

Your base pay will also be determined based on your qualifications, experience, and your demo interview.

This base rate is in the range of $9-$11 per 25-minute class.

Participation Bonus

If you arrive to your first daily class at least three minutes early, and complete each lesson as scheduled for the day, you will receive your participation bonus.

The participation bonus amounts to $1 per lesson.

Peak-Time Bonus

If you open 60 classes or more a month, you receive $1 bonus per lesson.

Peak times are subject to change based on the season, but they are typically evening hours Beijing time.

Total Pay Per Hour

Magic Ears is one of the highest paying online ESL companies and offers up to $26 per hour. They offer up to $12 per hour for South African teachers.

Teachers also receive their base pay for no shows, a benefit that not a lot of online companies accommodate.

Magic Ears Teaching Hours

Magic Ears TESOL Course

If you already have ESL certification, you don’t have to do this course.

However, if you are looking to get an ESL certificate, Magic Ears have their official course that you can find here for just $20. 

The certificate doesn’t guarantee that you will be hired, but an ESL certificate is required for all online ESL companies. The course is broken down into 10 modules and text-based, but they are constantly updating it and hope to include video soon.

This certificate is accreditied and can be used to apply for jobs at other online teaching companies.

The company states that if you apply for the Magic Ears course, you may wish to also purchase an ACCREDITAT Confirmation Document for a fee of £20. This confirms where you completed your TESOL in case any recruiters or employers doubt your certification.

Should you get the Magic Ears ESL Certificate?

While this is an accredited course, I wouldn’t say I like that they encourage you to purchase another document to prove the certificate’s validity.

Overall with the course and the confirmation document, this is going to cost you approximately $40-$45 (they move between citing GBP and USD so I am not sure of the exact figure).

Magic Ears TESOL Course Alternative

While you might like to complete the Magic Ears course, please be aware of the other options available to you.

A good alternative is the International Open Academy 120-hour TEFL course. This course can be completed quickly and we’ve partnered with IOA to offer it to you exclusively for $19 (reduced from $119) here. (Please note: this discount may expire at any time).

This course is what many online English language teachers complete to teach English online, and top tutors from established online ESL companies recommend this course, so it works.

If you are interested in a long term career teaching English abroad or online, check out my TEFL Academy review. I recommend the TEFL Academy to anyone looking for an in-depth Level 5 course to get the highest paying jobs teaching English abroad.

Technical Requirements 

  • Windows or Mac operating system
  • Core i5 4th generation and above
  • Internet speed 20Mbps download and 5Mbps upload
  • A wired connection (ethernet cable) is recommended.
  • A headset with a wired cable and webcam

Magic Ears needs teachers to a high internet speed to teach on their platform. It is vital to ensure that no matter what location you are going to, you check the internet speed as this is a crucial component for conducting online group classes.

Magic Ears have an interactive platform for classes. They require you to download the DingTalk app for communication.

Magic Ears Classes

Class Structure

  • Students range from 4 to 12 years
  • One-on-four classes
  • Lesson material provided 
  • 25-minute classes

Magic Ears can afford to pay their teachers more due to their one-on-four classroom model.

Classes are 25 minutes with a 5 minute break between each class.

All lesson material is provided, so teachers just have to show up and teach! No planning required!

Parents will be able to rate your performance at the end of class. Magic Ears give feedback to the teachers to help them improve their teaching performance.

Scheduling and Booking

  • No minimum hours required 
  • Monday to Friday: 5 pm- 9 pm Beijing Time
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9 am- 9 pm

There are no minimum hours required; however, Magic Ears recommend opening at least ten slots per week

Teachers do not have to worry about parents booking their classes. Teachers are randomly assigned classes on the Magic Ears system.

This means that teachers mostly teach new students every day.

Peak Hours 

  • Peak hours include Monday to Friday: 7 pm- 9 pm (Beijing Time)
  • Peak hours Saturday and Sunday: 9 am, 9:30 am, 10 am, 7 pm, 7:30 pm, 8 pm, 8:30 pm (Beijing Time)

Peak hours are times that you are most likely to receive bookings. They are the busiest time slots and are subject to change.

All times are in Beijing hours. You can check your time zone here to compare.

While there are more working hours available, peak hours are the most recommended time slots to open, and you are more likely to be booked these hours.

Application Process for Teachers 

  • Fill in the online application
  • Complete an interview
  • Conduct a trial demo class
  • Submit documentation
  • Sign the contract

Online Application

The hiring process for teachers can be completed quickly.

As we mentioned previously, your application will receive an automatic rejection if you state that you have zero years of teaching experience or you are not from an English-speaking location like the US, Canada or South Africa.

Fill out the online application with your necessary information. You can complete your information here.

Interview

When you are approved, you will complete a live or recorded demo for the interview process. This is the time to show your talent and skill as a teacher.

Recorded Demo: complete a quick interview using your phone or computer. Follow the prompts and submit the recording.

Live Demo: you will have an interview and teaching demo with a teacher. The employee will act as a child for you to teach and interact with.

Here is an example of a recorded Demo from Magic Ears Official:

Fast Track Application

If the interviewer is very impressed with your performance, they may be able to fast track your application.

Magic Ears Fast Track Program (MAFT) allows new applicants to begin their teaching careers within 48 hours of their application.

You will be invited to teach and be assigned a trainer to help you every step of the way, and give you advice.

The trainer will watch your first ten classes and give you feedback to keep you on the right track.

You can find more information about the fast track program here.

Trial Class

When you pass the demo, you move on to the trial class.

The trial class will is your first lesson with a real student.

You will receive a training video to review before teaching the brief 10-20 minute trial.

You will receive feedback from your trainer.

Tip! Find Your Teaching Space

Impress your Magic Ears interviewer with a fresh, clean classroom background. You can add a picture of Bonny, the Magic Ears bunny, to promote the company. Add some lighting for brightness or purple (the company color). For some more background ideas, check out our classic teaching classroom background ideas.

Submit Documentation and Sign Contract

Magic Ears will provide a background check, and you are given an offer. You can then sign your 6-month contract.

Congratulations! You are ready to teach!

Magic Ears Class

Here is an actual class at Magic Ears:

Some basic rules apply:

  • Dress appropriately in a shirt or sweater
  • Don’t eat or drink during class
  • Teach all the lesson material
  • Remain in your classroom for the 25 minutes
  • Write student feedback within 12 hours of class completion

Resources for Candidates

Magic Ears has a free course that helps you pass their interview. The course is led by current Magic Ears teachers who will show you all the ropes to succeed. 

This is a great resource to help you prepare and find the Teaching with Magic Ears course here. Their Youtube Channel is also a beneficial resource.

Magic Ears Ranking

Freshmen — Benchmark — Junior — Senior — Magic Master

Magic Ears rank teachers based on how long teachers are in the company and the parent and supervisor feedback they have received.

While new teachers start out at the Freshmen Rank, it is possible to grow and progress with the company to a Magic Master. This gives you additional benefits and raises within the company.

You will always be notified what your rank is and when you receive a new ranking. This gives online teachers something to work towards.

Freshmen Rank teachers are restricted to opening a certain number of slots, which gives them time to adjust to the platform.

When teachers complete 10 classes, the teachers can rank up to either Benchmark Ranking or Junior Ranking.

Scheduling instantly becomes more flexible and teachers can open all their slots at the Benchmarking Ranking stage. Junior teachers receive a higher booking rate than Benchmarking teachers.

For more information about Magic Ears Ranking, check out this video:

The Contract

The contract is six months with no teaching requirements and may be renewed after that period depending on your performance. 

Magic Ears Payments

Payments are made on the 10th of each month for the previous month’s classes. You must submit and sign your payslip each month to get paid.

Payments are made via bank transfer, Paypal or Alipay. If you are outside of the U.S., we recommend using Transferwise for the best exchange rates.

Cancellation Policy

Magic Ears provides a very lenient cancellation policy. Teachers have four free cancellations per month.

If the teacher wants to make more cancellations, it is possible by opening slots to close the slots. For this reason, Magic Ears is a very flexible company to work for.

Magic Ears also allows teachers to take extended time off. If you need to take some time off, you can inform Magic Ears 14 days in advance.

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Taxes

As an independent contractor, you are responsible for your own taxes. This depends on your state laws and jurisdiction.

Recommendation

Magic Ears is a great high-paying online ESL company. It requires a lot of energy because you are teaching group classes (up to 4 kids).

However, Magic Ears provides a very flexible schedule, making it quite a compelling choice for the online English teacher. 

If you want to teach online, Magic Ears is a great option.

Click the link below to get started with your Magic Ears application today.

Online Teaching Job Magic Ears

Useful Links

Here are some other platforms where you can apply to teach online:

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I am a 24-year old online ESL teacher and hopeless dreamer from rural Ireland. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK and Europe. This blog aims to help educate you on the existing possibilities of becoming an online teacher. Please show some love and support by sharing this article with others. Thank you!

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