The present work deals with the thermal buckling and vibration behavior of multi-layer rectangular viscoelastic sandwich plates. A decoupled thermo-mechanical analysis is made by using finite element method. An all side clamped (C-C-C-C) plate under thermal loads is analyzed for thermal buckling, frequency and damping behavior. The temperature-dependent characteristics of complex shear modulus of viscoelastic core are accounted. The formulation proposed by Kathua and Cheung [Bending and vibration of multi-layer sandwich beams and plates, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering 6 (1973) 11-24] has been extended to study the thermal buckling and for predicting the critical buckling temperature of the multi-layer viscoelastic sandwich plates. The variation of natural frequency and loss factor with temperature has been studied. A parametric study is conducted to estimate the effect of core thickness and progressive sandwiching. Several interesting phenomenon like shifting of modes with temperature, decrease of membrane stiffness with the increase in core thickness and increase in level of sandwiching has been observed. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.