Higher-order mode (HOM) fibers have been engineered to allow propagation of linearly polarized symmetric modes LP0,N in a robust way. Compared with the fundamental mode LP(0,1), HOMs exhibits an effective area that can be larger by over two order magnitude, and thus propagating light in these modes could greatly suppress the effect of nonlinear effects. HOM fibers could also be doped with rare earth ions in order to amplify light propagating in these modes, which offers the enormous potential for generating high-intensity pulses. Excitation of HOM gain fiber using cladding pumping with multimode pump source is attractive for ytterbium based amplifiers, because of the availability of low-cost multimode pump diodes in the 975nm wavelength range. One problem associated with cladding pumping which leads to excitation of the large doped core (over 100 μm diameter) is that it could result in a large amount of amplifiedspontaneous- emission (ASE) noise, particularly when the input signal is weak. Optimization of amplifier design is critical in order to suppress ASE and achieve high gain and pump-to-signal conversion efficiency. We conducted numerical modeling of a cladding pumped HOM-amplifier, which revealed that this problem could be mitigated by using a relatively long gain-fiber that allowed reabsorption of the forward propagating ASE resulting in a further amplification of the signal. We demonstrate efficient amplification of a LP0,10 mode with an effective area 3140μm2 in an Yb-doped HOM amplifier cladding pumped at 975nm. We have successfully obtained a 20.2dB gain for 0.95 W 1064 nm input seed signal to more than 105W.