AACE International's Recommended Practice 11R-88, Required Skills and Knowledge of Cost Engineering, provides some answers which are excerpted here. Beyond being a guiding document for AACE International’s education and certification developments, 11R-88 is an excellent reference for industry core competency and career model development.
Total Cost Management (TCM) is a systematic approach to managing cost throughout the life cycle of any enterprise, program, facility, project, product or service. The TCM Framework®: An Integrated Approach to Portfolio, Program and Project Management is a structured, annotated process map that for the first time explains each practice area of the cost engineering field in the context of its relationship to the other practice areas including allied professions. The digital version TCM Framework® is included in the cost of membership.
In alignment with the Total Cost Management Framework, recommended practices establish the technical foundation for AACE International educational and certification products and services. Recommended practices provide technical reference information, vetted by a rigorous review process, regarding specific competency areas. Recommended practices may be industry generic providing a broad overview of a specific practice that applies to most industries; or may be industry-specific describing a particular application of a practice in a specific industry.