During medieval times, torturers and executioners stood at the bottom of the social and professional hierarchy, comparable to the Untouchables of India. Due to the nature of their job, village executioners were lonely men frowned upon by their neighbours.
Today, executions are (at least in the US) carried out by "normal people" or policemen who are (sometimes randomly) chosen for the task and receive a sum of money for pulling the lever that closes the circuit of an electric chair, pressing the buttons to commence a lethal injection or per stroke or lash handed out in the case of corporal punishment. Saudi Arabia employs one (semi-)professional executioner who knows how to yield a sword but was not necessarily trained to become an executioner right after finishing school and did not just "choose" this profession. Firing squad executions are often carried out by the military (because no special training is needed) and the few torturers working for the CIA or any given terrorist organization usually get "trained on the job" with little theoretical instruction as far as I know.
Because most executions and tortures carried out today are simple when compared to the medieval times (shooting, electric shocks or cutting off arms with kitchen knives) and the rarity of those occurences, there is de facto no official profession of "Executioner" or "Torturer" anymore, with few exceptions.
Not let's go on to my fictional dictatorship: in this country, executions and tortures are carried out on a daily basis; the official and secret police take the role of the Inquisition. The list of crimes punishable by death is long; lesser offences draw flogging or mutilation (amputation of arms/legs, gouging of the eyes, branding, etc...). The methods are deliberately chosen to be gruesome and gory - while executions are usually made to be as quick and humane as possible and "soft torture", which leaves no or little marks, is becoming popular among various organizations in the real world, the justice system of my country employs acid baths, boiling water, slow dissection akin to "Death by a Thousand Cuts", the breaking wheel and scaphism only to name some. These procedures are usually carried out in public.
My question is:
What would the profession of Torturer or Executioner consist of in the modern world? Would one profession suffice or will different fields of specialization arise (name some!)?
What skills, character traits and knowledge are required?
How would torturers or executioners be trained, considering the fact that they would employ modern medical knowledge to intensify and prolong the suffering of their victims? Should those wishing to take up this profession rather be prepared by vocational training or university or a combination of both? I imagine that training suffices for normal or assistant torturers whereas those who wish to develop torture or execution methods will have to attend university.
Would this profession be respected? If not, what can be done to remove the stigma and popularize it among the youth?