Yea, that is kind of what i figured. I went and interviewed at 24 HR fitness a while ago, just to get a better idea of what a trainer at that type of gym does. With a cert you get $15/hr while training the clients, minimum wage if you are not training. I think the most you can make per hour is $22, and that is with three or four certifications. Doesnt really sound like the ideal place to work, i dont know how i would like going around trying to sell personal training packages to gym members.
I am going to keep my day job at least for the short term future, but i am going to try my best at making the personal training thing work. There quite a few mom and pop gyms and personal training studios here in Portland, perhaps some of them might be a better place to get experience. I think at the smaller places if you are working as a contractor the split is more your favor. One gym i talked to it was 80/20, which seems pretty good. But then there is still the aspect of getting clients unless the gym feeds them to you.
I think the Crossfit path is probably the most satisfying one, though perhaps a bit slower to start. Plus there are already two affiliates here in town, i dont know that trying to start a third one would make much sense.
I guess the bottom line is i need to find a good way to get some experience, and then see where it takes me.