Good thread. I am kind in the same boat as well, i realize training is something i have a passion for and i enjoy trying to help others. I am working towards giving it a shot as a career. I have worked in IT for the past five years since i have been out of college, and while i am grateful that i have been to make a living and save up some money, i am pretty tired of it.
My plan is to get a nationally recognized cert first, and start trying to get some experience, hopefully working a gym on the side so i can keep my day job for a bit. I would try to get my Crossfit cert not long after this, and then see from there. I do Brazillian Juijitsu, and one of the main reasons i got so excited about CF style training was that it helped me so much on the mat. If i could somehow eventually train some Jits guys or wrestlers that would be pretty cool.
I live in Portland, OR, and Scott Hagnas of Crossfit Portland has been really generous with his time, getting together with me on occasion to talk about training, how to get started, etc. I would not be adverse to just getting some experience in a box gym if i felt i would learn something and not just have to use their pre formatted workout templates.
I am curious how much trainers at the box gyms make on avg. One place i called said you can expect to make low $30K's when starting.