An optical pump-probe setup was used to measure the coercivity change in a heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) medium. The incident optical power required to attain the Curie temperature of the medium was determined by calculating its coercivity from BH loops under different illuminating laser powers through use of the Kerr signal in the pump-probe setup. The HAMR medium was then illuminated through an array of square and C-shaped nanoapertures so that the necessary laser power required for magnetic reversal could be compared to the bulk case. Magnetic force microscopy and Kerr microscopy revealed that C-apertures were able to permit heating of the magnetic medium and lower the coercivity to achieve magnetic reversal whereas the square apertures were not. The results show that aperture shape and design play a large role in HAMR head designs.