This paper presents a parametric effect, microstructure, micro-hardness and optimization of laser scanning parameters (LSP) on heating experiments during laser assisted machining of Inconel 718 alloy. The laser source used for experiments is a continuous wave Nd:YAG laser with maximum power of 2 kW. The experimental parameters in the present study are cutting speed in the range of 50-100 m/min, feed rate of 0.05-0.1 mm/rev, laser power of 1.25-1.75 kW and approach angle of 60-90°of laser beam axis to tool. The plan of experiments are based on central composite rotatable design L31 (43) orthogonal array. The surface temperature is measured via on-line measurement using infrared pyrometer. Parametric significance on surface temperature is analysed using response surface methodology (RSM), analysis of variance (ANOVA) and 3D surface graphs. The structural change of the material surface is observed using optical microscope and quantitative measurement of heat affected depth that are analysed by Vicker's hardness test. The results indicate that the laser power and approach angle are the most significant parameters to affect the surface temperature. The optimum ranges of laser power and approach angle was identified as 1.25-1.5 kW and 60-65° using overlaid contour plot. The developed second order regression model is found to be in good agreement with experimental values with R2 values of 0.96 and 0.94 respectively for surface temperature and heat affected depth. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.