This article provides an overview of the fundamentals, mechanisms, process physics, advantages, and limitations of laser beam welding. It describes the independent and dependent process variables in view of their role in procedure development and process selection. The article includes information on independent process variables such as incident laser beam power and diameter, laser beam spatial distribution, traverse speed, shielding gas, depth of focus and focal position, weld design, and gap size. Dependent variables, including depth of penetration, microstructure and mechanical properties of laser-welded joints, and weld pool geometry, are discussed. The article also reviews the various injuries and electrical and chemical hazards associated with laser beam welding.