In this paper we present advances made in the development and fabrication of highly efficient, large-mode area fibers for eye-safe wavelengths (1.55 μm, 2.0 μm). LMA Er/Yb co-doped and Tm doped fibers have been successfully fabricated, with 25 μm core and 250 to 300 μm clad diameters, that are suitable for nanosecond pulsed amplification in LIDAR applications as well as high power CW amplification. Manufacturing challenges for these novel fibers are discussed. Measured and modeled data, for both types of fibers, are presented. The development of non-PM and PM-LMA fibers for eye-safe applications is expected to spur rapid progress in power scaling at these wavelengths, similar to that witnessed by the industry at 1.06 μm.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.