The design of optical components for high average power lasers requires some additional and unique considerations not present in low power systems. Most common components simply cannot survive in the hostile environment of a high power laser beam. The most successful approaches are those which most constructively deal with the problem of the absorption of laser radiation and the removal of waste heat, while staying within an allowable beam distortion budget. This paper contains a discussion of the problems and promise of four high power components: solid windows, aerodynamic windows, high reflectance mirror coatings, and pulsed damage resistant mirrors. The state-of-the-art performance of these optical elements is discussed. Finally, some crucial issues which must be resolved if applications of high average power lasers are ever to become routine, are enumerated.