If you’re looking to teach English online, Magic Ears is a great choice! It’s one of the highest-paying online English teaching companies. In this Magic Ears review, you’ll learn about Magic Ears pay, hours, the hiring process, and so much more. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be a Magic Ears teacher.
Let’s dive in!
What is Magic Ears?
Magic Ears is a platform for teaching English online to Chinese students. Based in Beijing, they launched in 2016 and hit the ground running in 2017 with an aggressive push to hire teachers. In 2018, they opened offices in Nashville, TN.
They provide group lessons with native English-speaking teachers to Chinese kids ages 5-12. Unlike VIPKid and GoGoKid where the parents/students choose their teacher, Magic Ears book your classes for you.
All Magic Ears classes are 1-on-4, meaning you will have up to 4 students. All classes are 25 minutes long giving you 5 minutes between classes to leave feedback. Magic Ears has its own interactive teaching platform where you will log in and teach the lesson. You’ll be able to see and interact with all of the students.
The curriculum is provided so all you need to do is add your personality and props. Simply open your time slots and focus on teaching. You can teach English online when you want and work anywhere in the world!
Magic Ears Requirements
In order to qualify to be a Magic Ears teacher, you must meet the following criteria:
*Important – Magic Ears is no longer working with teachers from California.
- Native English speaker from the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa
- Have (or be currently pursuing) a Bachelor’s Degree in any subject
- Have a TEFL certificate before you begin teaching (so you do not have to have one to apply)
- Must love kids!
Previous teaching experience is NOT required 🙂
If you don’t have a TEFL certificate, we highly recommend BridgeTEFL. Sasha and I both got our TEFL certificates online through their courses. Check out the BridgeTEFL website or our post about online TEFL certificates that has more information and recommendations for other TEFL course providers.
Meet the requirements?
Not sure yet? Continue reading our Magic Ears review.
If you don’t qualify, that okay! There are plenty of other online English teaching jobs <– click to learn about them!
Magic Ears Hours
The peak times for Magic Ears are from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm Beijing time during the workweek, and between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm (Beijing time) on weekends.
Here is what the Magic Ears hours look like in the USA and Canada at the time of writing (July 2021):
- EDT: 5:00 am – 9:00 am
- CDT: 4:00 am – 8:00 am
- MDT: 3:00 am – 7:00 am
- PDT: 2:00 am – 6:00 am
The weekend hours would be 9:00 pm Friday night to 9:00 am Saturday morning. Also the same for Saturday night to Sunday morning.
As you can see, teachers are often working in the wee hours of the morning or late at night. If that suits you, Magic Ears is a good fit for you!
A Note On Daylight Savings Time
It’s important to note that China does not observe Daylight Saving Time. If you live in a place that does, your teaching times will be an hour earlier when the time changes in November. These are the peak teaching times from November to March in the USA and Canada:
- EST: 5:00 am – 8:00 am
- CST: 4:00 am – 7:00 am
- MST: 3:00 am – 6:00 am
- PST: 2:00 am – 5:00 am
Summer and holiday breaks from school can be a busy time for those teaching English online to Chinese students as they tend to take more online lessons. That means more evening teaching times are available during the week, not only on weekends.
So to give you a better idea of what your schedule could look like, here are some examples…
During the school year (no DST):
- 6:00-9:00 am Monday to Friday/Saturday
- 8:00-10:00 pm Friday if not teaching Saturday morning
During July and August with DST:
- 6 or 7:00-9:00 am Monday to Friday
- 9:00-11:00 pm Monday to Thursday
There are no minimum requirements with Magic Ears. When you teach English online with Magic Ears, you can work as much or as little as you want. You can also work anywhere in the world and change the time of day you teach by moving to a different time zone.
Are you a regular morning person (regular = after sunrise)? Chile, Argentina, and Brazil have the best time zones for you.
Would you rather teach English online in the afternoons? Europe is the place for you.
Prefer working in the evenings? Southeast Asia is best for that.
How Much Can You Earn With Magic Ears?
Magic Ears pay is one of the highest in the online ESL world.
The base pay is $7-$10 per 25-minute class. This is determined by your credentials and past experience. Magic Ears also has participation and peak time bonuses that are relatively easy to get.
Participation: You will receive an extra $1 per class if you are in the classroom at least 1 minute early.
Peak Times: You will receive an extra $1 per class if you open 60 class times during their peak hours per month. Peak hours are 7:00 – 9:00 pm Beijing time.
Most people start out earning $7.50 per class in their first contract, which is $15 per hour. The bonuses bring it up to $19 per hour. What does that come out to per month? Let’s do a bit of math here:
If you teach 15 hours per week, that’s about $1,140 per month. If you teach 20 hours per week, that’s about $1,520 per month.
Not bad for teaching English online to Chinese students from home! This is why I truly believe the fastest way to become location independent is to teach English online.
In addition, once you become an active teacher, you will get a referral link you can send to your friends and earn a commission if they’re hired.
How to Get Hired with Magic Ears
- Create an account and submit your application + resume. My Magic Ears referral code is T331425 if you’d like to enter it when you fill out your initial application.
- Choose a live interview (5-8 mins) or a recorded demo (3-5 mins)
- Trial demo (10-20 minutes)
- Background Check
- Sign Contract
First, you must fill out the online application by entering your basic information. Use a professional photo! It needs to show you from the shoulders up, no sunglasses, no selfies.
Pro Tip: take a picture sitting in your virtual classroom!
Next, you’ll choose a recorded or a live interview demo.
In the recorded demo, you will share a brief introduction and teach a short lesson on the letters “M & N” and keywords “Moon & Nurse.”
In the live demo, you’ll have a brief introduction with the interviewer and then they will act as your “student” for the lesson. For a live demo, make sure to download the teaching portal to your computer in advance and preview the slides.
Next up is the trial demo. In this step, you will teach a 10-minute demo lesson to a trainer acting as your “student.”
You’ll receive an email with an invitation to schedule your Trial Demo and training videos. Be sure to watch the videos to prepare before scheduling your trial demo. After you finish teaching the demo lesson, the trainer will provide you with some feedback.
Magic Ears will then determine whether you move onto the next step or if you need a second Trial Demo. For the trial demo, make sure to download the teaching portal to your computer in advance and watch the training videos (I can’t emphasize this enough).
Finally, there is one more step in this process, and that is to get a criminal background check.
Tips For Passing Your Interview Demo
One of the cool things about Magic Ears is that they offer an online course free of charge called “Teaching With Magic Ears” that will help you prep for the interview. Their YouTube channel is also full of useful tips.
Here are some extra tips:
Use at least 2 props – I recommend a whiteboard and stuffed animal. Monkeys are perfect. Check out this one on Amazon. You could also get plastic letters Mm and Nn.
Give Rewards – Magic Ears students get a trophy as their reward so you could draw a trophy on a piece of paper and hold that up when you’re giving them their reward.
Smile. Smile. And smile some more!
Be energetic – sing, dance, and clap along with the interactive portions of the class. Use facial expressions, vary your tone of voice, and use lots of TPR throughout your interview!
Be professional – remember this is a real job interview! Don’t eat, drink, or talk to people off-camera.
Decorate your classroom – get a backdrop of some sort so it looks like a classroom. I use a map background that’s very easy to hang up and travel with.
Click here to see my map background. If you like it you can take 5% off with the code RACHEL964. Check out my post about the 10 travel-friendly teaching supplies for your portable classroom to see what else you need!
PRACTICE – last but certainly not least, practice is my number 1 tip for passing your interview demo! The more you practice, the more confident and prepared you will feel.
Still not sure it’s for you? Our Magic Ears review rolls on…
Magic Ears Reviews
As always, I like to give a realistic look at what it’s really like to teach English online with different platforms. Here are the pros and cons of teaching with Magic Ears…
- Lenient cancelation policy
- Lots of support for teachers
- Higher than average pay
- No minimum booking requirement
- Very flexible scheduling
- Length of time to get started – it can take up to a month to complete the application process and start teaching
- Lack of consistency – some teachers may not enjoy always teaching different students rather than the same group
- Teaching style – the amount of energy Magic Ears expects may be a bit much for some
Magic Ears Vs. VIPKid
Here are four ways Magic Ears is different from VIPKID and GoGoKid:
- The classes on Magic Ears are group classes. You will have up to 4 students in your class.
- The classes are booked by the company, not the parents.
- They have a very lenient cancelation policy.
- You do not need to have any teaching experience.
If you can’t teach a class, all you have to do is let them know, no questions asked. So if you need to be able to cancel because you have kids or health issues, this may be the best company for you.
How to be an Online English Teacher and Travel the World
We’ve been full-time traveling teachers since 2016. Teaching English online is what made this lifestyle possible for us!
My mission is to help anyone seeking more freedom in their lives to find it, after all!
If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to watch my free masterclass: How to Teach English Online, Even With No Classroom Experience.
Learn how to gain the freedom to work from anywhere, make your own schedule, and have more time for the things you love.
During this free, hour-long training, you’ll learn:
- how to get hired on any online English teaching platform, not only Magic Ears
- how to maximize your income teaching English online
- and how to travel the world as an online English teacher
Click here to snag your seat and watch instantly!
To summarize, Magic Ears is a great option for teaching English online to Chinese students for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, they have a lenient cancelation policy and offer generous pay. Secondly, their application process is only five steps and very straightforward. Finally, there is no prep work involved which means you’ll have more free time to pursue other online job opportunities or teach with another online teaching platform.
Furthermore, you don’t have to have any teaching experience!
The best part, in my opinion, is you have the option to teach as many classes as you want from anywhere in the world. I truly do believe teaching English online is the best way to work from anywhere and Magic Ears is a great platform to get started with.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to drop them in the comments below or shoot me an email.
If you decide to apply to Magic Ears, I’ll coach you through the process if you apply through my referral link. Simply click the button below to get started
Start Your Magic Ears Application Now!
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2 thoughts on “Magic Ears Review: Teaching English Online to Chinese Students”
I’m surprised that you don’t have any updates about online teaching after the new regulations in China. Hopefully, you’re not still depending on that income.
Thanks for the comment! We just haven’t had the time to write an update about it. When live music returned last year, we made big plans to travel around the US and see lots of concerts. The new regulations were announced in the middle of it all and we just haven’t had time to stop and think, until now. We wanted to wait for the dust to settle a bit as well. It’s on our list of things to do while we’re in hibernation mode this month and next. That was our biggest source of income but not the only one so we’ve been managing 🙂