Polymer matrix composite materials have been increasingly used in aerospace, defense, automotive and marine industries. In these fields, nontraditional machining method of abrasive water jet (AWJ) has been used significantly in order to form polymer matrix components. In this study, glass fiber reinforced vinyl ester composite plates have been investigated under various AWJ cutting parameters by using the Taguchi experimental design in detail. For Taguchi experimental design, experimental parameters of standoff distance, abrasive mass flow rate, traverse speed, pressure and material thickness were determined at three levels. Top kerf width and the surface roughness were investigated in order to understand the cutting performance. Finally, linear regression models were conducted and all performance parameters were examined using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and main effects plots. According to the overall test results, standoff distance was determined as the most effective one. The optimal parameter levels were obtained by the 'main effects plots', and finally, the predictive modeling was validated by performing the optimal combination of parameter levels.