Are you thinking about teaching English online with Magic Ears? Read through the Magic Ears requirements below so that you’re completely prepared for the application process.
Magic Ears Overview
Magic Ears is an online English teaching company based in Beijing, China. They cater to young students between the ages of 3 to 15 via video lessons.
These lessons are conducted by Magic Ears teachers who help these students improve their English speaking abilities through repetition, games, and conversation.
Magic Ears Requirements
In order to teach for Magic Ears, you must meet the basic requirements set by the company and the Ministry of Education in China.
Here are the basic requirements (including teacher, tech, and classroom requirements) you must possess to be hired by Magic Ears:
Note: Magic Ears is very strict with these requirements. If you do not meet these requirements, you will be turned away.
1. A Bachelor’s Degree In Any Subject
As a rule set by the Ministry of Education in China, every online ESL teacher must hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
You will need to provide proof of a diploma or completed transcript in order to finish the application process.
Can You Teach For Magic Ears Without A Bachelor’s Degree?
Back in 2018, Magic Ears did hire teachers without a Bachelor’s degree as long as they had a TEFL/TESOL certificate, but this has since changed.
They do hire teachers who are currently completing their Bachelor’s degree, but you must provide proof that you’re enrolled in a 4-year program.
2. A TEFL/TESOL Certificate
In addition to a Bachelor’s degree or proof that you’re enrolled in a Bachelor’s program, you must also hold a TEFL or TESOL certificate.
If you’re unsure about these acronyms, let me clear the air. TEFL stands for Teach English as a Foreign Language and TESOL stands for Teach English To Speakers of Other Languages.
These certificates are interchangeable and they’re really easy to obtain. You can get one on the internet or at in-person class.
Best TEFL Courses For Magic Ears
If you’re in store for a TEFL course, here are a few options:
This is the course I took and I loved how easy it was. Not only is it internationally accredited, but the Premier TEFL staff are so helpful.
I highly recommend taking this course and it’s only $37!
For convenience, Magic Ears actually has their own TEFL course for applicants and it’s only $20.
I’ve heard this course can be used for other online English teaching companies, but I’m not sure if it would be accepted by major companies outside of China.
Can I Use The TESOL Certificate From VIPKID To Apply For Magic Ears?
Unfortunately, VIPKID has made their teachers jump through hoops in order to use the VIPKID TESOL certification on other platforms.
Currently, they require teachers to pay $79 in order to have their TESOL certification transferred to other companies.
I don’t recommend paying this price to transfer your TESOL certificate from VIPKID to Magic Ears. Instead, I recommend purchasing and completing one of the certifications listed above.
3. Native English Speaker
Being a native English speaker from a native English speaking country is another one of the requirements that Magic Ears has set in place.
Prior to late 2020, Magic Ears only hired teachers from the USA and Canada. But, after merging with another company and adding 250,000 new students to their platform, they have expanded their hiring grounds to any native English speaking country.
These countries include the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
If you are a native English speaker from any of the above countries, you are welcome to apply to Magic Ears.
Do I Need To Speak Chinese To Teach With Magic Ears?
A lot of aspiring applications ask if speaking and understanding Chinese is a requirement to teach English online with Magic Ears.
No, you do not need to know a lick of Chinese in order to teach these students. In fact, even if you do speak Chinese, the company expects you to only speak English throughout your lessons.
4. A Computer or Laptop
One of the more obvious requirements to teach English with Magic Ears is a computer or laptop.
In order to access the teaching portal and deliver the lessons, you’ll need a reliable computer or laptop with internet access.
The computer you use to teach Magic Ears classes must have at least 4GB of RAM so that the classrooms load properly and quickly. You can check your computer hardware by looking under System Preferences.
For Mac users, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your computer and choose About This Mac. The details will include how many GB of RAM your computer has.
Note: You cannot teach with Magic Ears from an iPad or a smartphone.
5. Reliable Internet
Along with a reliable computer, another one of the obvious requirements set by Magic Ears is stable internet.
Magic Ears has set a standard for internet speeds. They recommend:
20 Mbps Download
5 Mbps Upload
An awesome and free tool to help you check your internet speed is SpeedTest.net.
Having trouble with your internet speeds?
I highly recommend connecting to your modem using an ethernet cable. This will increase your speed and keep your connection stable throughout lessons.
6. A Webcam
A webcam is also necessary to teach for Magic Ears. So, whether you use the internal camera on your laptop or you purchase an external web camera, you’ll need to have one before you apply.
Personally, I use the webcam that’s built-in to my Macbook and it works perfectly.
If you want to purchase an external webcam, we recommend the Logitech C90 because it works well, it’s reliable, and it’s affordable.
7. A Headset
And the final tech requirement for Magic Ears is a headset.
Your headset will help block out the noises around you and keep echoing to a minimum during class.
The best headset for online ESL teachers is the Logitech Stereo Headset H151 with Microphone.
I’ve had this headset for 3 years and it has never failed me.
8. A Classroom Set Up
And finally, you might be wondering, “do I have to set up a classroom?”
Similar to other online ESL companies, one of the requirements for Magic Ears is an inviting classroom environment. This means transforming a small area of your home into a school!
Personally, I use a world map tapestry for a background. This helps my classroom look fun and professional.
You can find a similar world map tapestry for your classroom here: World Map Tapestries For ESL Teachers.
Do I Need To Prepare Teaching Materials?
No, you will not prepare your own lesson materials. Magic Ears provides the lesson plan and slides for you to use during each class.
But, it is important to note that Magic Ears likes it when their applicants and teachers use simple props like flashcards or letter cards. Consider purchasing a pack of these at the Dollar Store.
Do I Need To Communicate With Parents?
Nope! It is not a requirement to communicate with parents of Magic Ears students. The only time you’ll communicate with the parents is through brief written feedback after each lesson.
Otherwise, Magic Ears takes on the responsibility of communicating with the parents.
More Qualifications Magic Ears Prefers
The above 8 qualifications and tools are 100% necessary in order to teach English online with Magic Ears.
Magic Ears has stated that the following is a preferred qualification:
9. Experience Teaching ESL Online
If you’re already a current online English teacher, you’ll score major brownie points with Magic Ears.
Although it isn’t mandatory, it is looked very highly upon in the Magic Ears world if you’ve taught other online ESL classes.
If you’ve been apart of the online ESL world for a while, be sure to mention this in your initial interview.
Before You Apply With Magic Ears
Although it’s not one of the requirements for Magic Ears, it’s really important and suggested to use a referral while applying.
Having a referral teacher will help you get through the hiring process quickly and smoothly.
If you don’t have a referring teacher yet, I’d be happy to help you through the process. Use my link below to sign up for Magic Ears and we can get started 👇:
Note: If you use my referral link to apply, send me an email (email@example.com) so that I can get into contact with you and send you guides and tips to help you through the hiring process!
How Do You Get Hired With Magic Ears?
In order to get hired by Magic Ears, you must first meet all of the requirements listed above. If you qualify and meet all of the requirements, Magic Ears will ask you to complete the following steps:
2. Mini Demo (Live or Recorded)
4. Trial Class
5. Background Check
Once you successfully complete each of those steps, you’ll be asked to sign a 6-month contract. As soon as you sign your contract, you’ll be cleared to open your schedule for classes.
Note: As of December 2020, Magic Ears has relaxed the hiring process. It is currently VERY easy to get hired and start teaching with this company as long as you meet the requirements.
Is Magic Ears Better Than VIPKID?
Magic Ears and VIPKID are very similar so it can be difficult to put them up against one another.
Although these companies are similar in many ways, they are also different, too.
First, VIPKID focuses primarily on 1-to-1 classes where Magic Ears works with a 4-to-1 model. Many teachers prefer the 1-to-1 classroom model, but others like to have more students in class because it’s easier to get the students to participate.
Another difference is that Magic Ears typically pays a lot more than VIPKID. Magic Ears pays their teachers between $19-26 per hour. As of December 2020, VIPKID has cut their pay to approximately $14-17 per hour for most teachers.
In my opinion, Magic Ears is the hot company right now and I would jump in with them quickly so that you can build your profile and reputation.
Want More On Magic Ears?
If you’re on the fence about applying to Magic Ears, be sure to check out our latest post here:
The Wrap-Up: Magic Ears Requirements
Magic Ears is an awesome company to work for, especially if you’re hoping to work from the comfort of your own home.
If you meet these Magic Ears requirements, be sure to sign up to teach ESL online.