Next-generation industrial fiber lasers enable challenging applications that cannot be addressed with legacy fiber lasers. Key features of next-generation fiber lasers include robust back-reflection protection, high power stability, wide power tunability, high-speed modulation and waveform generation, and facile field serviceability. These capabilities are enabled by high-performance components, particularly pump diodes and optical fibers, and by advanced fiber laser designs. We summarize the performance and reliability of nLIGHT diodes, fibers, and next-generation industrial fiber lasers at power levels of 500 W – 8 kW. We show back-reflection studies with up to 1 kW of back-reflected power, power-stability measurements in cw and modulated operation exhibiting sub-1% stability over a 5 – 100% power range, and high-speed modulation (100 kHz) and waveform generation with a bandwidth 20x higher than standard fiber lasers. We show results from representative applications, including cutting and welding of highly reflective metals (Cu and Al) for production of Li-ion battery modules and processing of carbon fiber reinforced polymers.