This paper explores the wide range of laser micromachining applications used in contract manufacturing. Contract manufacturing is used in several key industries such as microelectronics packaging, semiconductor, data storage, medical devices, communications, peripherals, automobiles and aerospace. Material types includes plastics, metals, ceramics, inorganics and composites. However laser micromachining is just one available technology for micromachining and other methods will be reviewed. Contract manufacturing offers two important glimpses of the future. Firstly prototype work for new applications often beings in contract manufacturing. Secondly, contract manufacturing can be an economic springboard to allow laser systems to be installed in a production environment.