When you hang around in online ESL teaching communities and forums, certain online English teaching company names seem to pop up a lot.
The companies that have people talking tend to be the best and that’s why, today, we’re going to look at a relatively new online English teaching company that everyone’s talking about – Magic Ears.
What is it that makes Magic Ears such a hot topic with ESL teachers? Is it really one of the best online English companies to work for? And if so, why?
We’re going to answer these questions so that you don’t have to by taking an in-depth look at the company and comparing it to DaDa, another hugely popular online ESL company.
Ready? Good. Let’s start with the similarities.
PROS of working for both DaDa and Magic Ears
- Hourly rates of over $20/hr.
- Work from the comfort of your home.
- Extra incentives and bonuses.
- Pre-planned lessons; no preparation time.
- Job satisfaction.
CONS of working for both DaDa and Magic Ears
- Your schedule might not always be filled.
- You’re reliant on your computer.
- Technical issues can ruin your day.
- Communication with management can be tricky.
- You can only work during Beijing peak time hours.
The above is just a general overview for you to see if this career seems right for you. If you’re still interested in applying for an online teaching job at this point, that’s good – you’re probably not going to read anything else that will change your mind.
From this point on, we’re going to explore the differences between the two companies so that you can choose the one that is the best fit for what you’re looking for.
Let’s start with the important stuff – the job requirements.
Hiring Policy [DaDa vs Magic Ears]
DaDa only requires applicants to possess four things:
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Passport from a native English-speaking country.
- Teaching certification, such as TEFL, TESL, Celta
- Criminal background check
If you have these four things, you stand a good chance of getting employed. They don’t require that you have any previous teaching experience but it does help!
These things would help to you ace the interview and negotiate a higher pay rate though, so if you do have them – great! You’re golden!
It looks like Magic Ears only hires Native speakers from the US and Canada. Whilst that is bad news for all the Brits, Aussies, and South Africans out there – sorry guys – it does mean there is less competition for those of you that are from that part of the world.
Magic Ears are looking for experienced teachers, so they ask for:
- Half a year of teaching experience
- A Bachelor’s degree
- A stable internet connection and a good hardware.
No certification required, but it would help improve your application.
Stand-by Time Pay [DaDa vs Magic Ears]
DaDa is a rare gem when it comes to stand-by pay. Not many online English teaching companies will pay you to sit around and do nothing – but DaDa will.
If your schedule isn’t fully booked during regular contract hours, you’re paid half your hourly rate for periods where you don’t have classes. It’s not the full amount, but it’s something!
It’s worth remembering that you won’t get paid for standby time during part-time hours, though, unless the class is cancelled by the student.
Click the image below to read more about part-time hours with DaDa:
Magic Ears pay teachers $5 for standby hours.
And the good news is that, from what I hear from teachers already working on the platform, your schedule is usually full, which means that you’re not likely to be sitting around twiddling your thumbs all that much.
Cancellation Policy [DaDa vs Magic Ears]
DaDa sometimes penalises teachers for unauthorised absences, lateness, and excessive time-off. They lay out the exact terms in the contract, but it’s not something to worry unduly about.
If you’re usually punctual and give the management plenty of notice when you do need to cancel, they’re usually understanding.
One of the things that Magic Ears teachers seem to love the most about the company is their cancellation policy: no penalties for sick days!
They want teachers to be performing their duties at their best, which means allowing them to take time off when they’re sick, without repercussions.
Click the image below to read about how DaDa compares to VIPKID:
Hiring Process [DaDa vs Magic Ears]
Here is the DaDa hiring process in a nutshell:
- Fill in an online application
- Have a very short interview with a recruiter over skype.
- Attend platform training and have a demo class with a mentor who will act like the student
- Have a real demo class with a real student
- Sign your contract, take some classes, and start getting paid.
The Magic Ears hiring process has a few more steps:
- Apply online
- Schedule and attend a live interview OR record a demo
- Schedule and attend a training workshop for 1v4 classes
- Schedule and attend a training demonstration for 1v1 classes
- Teach your first trial class
- Teach your second trial class* (if required)
- Pass a background check
- Sign your contract and start teaching
Pay [DaDa vs Magic Ears]
DaDa’s rate of pay is between $15 – $25 per teaching hour. You’ll be sent an offer somewhere in this region after your trial class which will be based on performance and experience.
There are also bonuses available that can boost this income such as for converting trial class students, recruiting teachers, and occasionally having full attendance.
Magic Ears advertise a pay rate of between $18 – $26 – a little more than DaDa. Here’s how it’s calculated:
- $9 – 11 per 25-minute class (+5 minutes to give feedback to the student)
- $1 extra per class for punctuality
- $1 extra per class for completing 60+ classes during peak hours each month
Discover the best way to receive your pay from China as an online teacher below:
Class Bookings [DaDa vs Magic Ears]
Classes for DaDa can be booked during Beijing peak hours (weekday evenings and all day on weekends).
Classes are assigned for you by the platform and you’ll be mostly teaching regular students during your contracted hours. This means you’ll teach the same students for a long period and will have time to get to know them and build up a relationship.
You can also book part-time hours a week in advance where you will teach mainly trial classes and interest classes with students that aren’t your regulars.
Magic Ears classes also take place during Beijing peak hours (Evenings throughout the week plus 10 AM – 11:30 AM on weekends).
With magic ears, you don’t have regular students; they vary between each class. They’re assigned to you through the system and your schedule will likely be full most of the time.
Discover the differences between DaDa and SayABC below:
DaDa vs Magic Ears… Final Thoughts!
Hopefully, that’s all given you a lot to think about. If you’re still struggling to make up your mind, here’s a few final points that might help you to make your decision.
Both Magic Ears teachers and DaDa teachers all seem to be very happy with their job, but for different reasons.
Magic Ears teachers love the fact that the company offers lots of progression opportunities – something which a lot of online ESL companies lack. Many teachers are offered a promotion or extra duties such as proofreading within just a few months.
DaDa teachers enjoy the fact that they have a more rewarding experience teaching regular students and don’t have to worry about teaching large groups of students like in Magic Ears.
Whichever option you choose to go with, you’ll probably love it.
If you’ve decided to apply for DaDa, click below to fill out your application.