The residual stress is the key factor causing the reliability problem of thermal barrier coating (TBC). The failure of plasma spray coatings due to residual stresses is a serious and recurring problem of TBC. The difference of thermal expansion coefficient between the substrate and each coating combined with temperature evolution and temperature gradients during deposition process determine the residual stress for the whole TBC system. The magnitudes and distributions of the residual stresses are affected by deposition process and deposition characteristics. Most of FEA (finite element analysis) has been performed under the assumption that the multilayer coating system is stacked at once without considering the deposition process during plasma spraying. In this research, FEA for a coupled heat transfer and elastic-plastic thermal stress was performed to obtain the more detailed and reliable result of residual stress of the TBC system using the element activation/deactivation technique. The residual stress variation from the start of plasma spraying to cooling stage with room temperature was obtained systematically considering the deposition process. It can be used as reference data to improve the performance of TBC. In addition, the relationship between residual stress and coating conditions such as cooling rate and time is also examined thoroughly.