Cost engineering is "the engineering practice devoted to the management of project cost, involving such activities as estimating, cost control, cost forecasting, investment appraisal and risk analysis." "Cost Engineers budget, plan and monitor investment projects. They seek the optimum balance between cost, quality and time requirements."
Skills and knowledge of cost engineers are similar to those of quantity surveyors. In many industries, cost engineering is synonymous with project controls. As the title "engineer" has legal requirements in many jurisdictions (i.e. Texas, Canada), the cost engineering discipline is often renamed to project controls.
A cost engineer is "an engineer whose judgment and experience are utilized in the application of scientific principles and techniques to problems of estimation; cost control; business planning and management science; profitability analysis; project management; and planning and scheduling."