One of the main challenges of using laser ultrasonic techniques for non-destructive testing applications is the typically low signal-to-noise ratio of the laser ultrasonic signals. In the case of thick composite structures, this is even more problematic since composite materials have very strong sound attenuation. This article investigates the effects of laser beam size and profile to the amplitude of pulse-echo laser ultrasonic signals with the constraint that the peak energy density (fluence) must be kept constant under the thermal damage threshold of material like polymer matrix composites. Such constraint is very important for the non-destructive feature of non-destructive testing, yet in a number of the existing parameter studies of laser ultrasonics, it was not fully investigated. In this article, a series of A-scan and C-scan experiments on thick composite specimens shows that the amplitude of the direct waves and the reflected waves increases with the increase in laser beam size with constant peak energy density. This amplitude enhancement significantly improves the propagation depth, thereby optimizing the system for inspection of thick composite structures. The validity of experimental results is verified theoretically by solving the thermoelastic model of epicenter displacement using Laplace-Hankel transformation.