Ceramic materials are used extensively in the microelectronics, semiconductor, and LED lighting industries because of their electrically insulating and thermally conductive properties, as well as for their high-temperature-service capabilities. However, their brittleness presents significant challenges for conventional machining processes. In this paper we report on a series of experiments that demonstrate and characterize the efficacy of pulsed nanosecond UV and green lasers in machining ceramics commonly used in microelectronics manufacturing, such as aluminum oxide (alumina) and aluminum nitride. With a series of laser pocket milling experiments, fundamental volume ablation rate and ablation efficiency data were generated. In addition, techniques for various industrial machining processes, such as shallow scribing and deep scribing, were developed and demonstrated. We demonstrate that lasers with higher average powers offer higher processing rates with the one exception of deep scribes in aluminum nitride, where a lower average power but higher pulse energy source outperformed a higher average power laser.