That is a very difficult question!
First of all, I want to say that "helping people" is extremely rewarding, and each and every day that you are able to help somebody, you go home feeling as if you made a difference in someone's life that day. It is an AWESOME feeling!
Secondly, there are MANY ways to "help people." You can be a teacher, a doctor, a corporate trainer, a police officer. The list is endless. Customer Service, a very broad career field, also entails helping. I always wanted to be the manager of a gift shop - helping people to pick out that perfect gift for that special someone.
But, since you are asking about social work, I will try to look at that field. I don't know what you envision that job to entail. It could be something like Child Protective Services, Unemployment or Food Stamp case manager, adoption counselor, director of a non-profit agency, etc. Yes, it feels great to help someone get a job, or to get a family the support services they need without taking a child from the home.
But. . . Before we get to the pay, I want you to understand there is a part of social work that is not widely known. That has to do with all the record-keeping, and even having to meet quotas (for example, making a certain number of job referrals per month.) Sometimes, it does not make sense. Why is giving job referrals more important than helping someone to create a good resume? These aspects of the job are frustrating. Some jobs have high turnover rate, such as those that involve removing children from their parents. You have to be emotionally strong to handle the stress. If the end results are good, then, yes, it is "worth it."
Money: This sort of depends on the lifestyle you want to have. If you live modestly, go out maybe once a month, make home-cooked meals occasionally, iron your own clothes, etc. it is possible to get by on the salary of a social worker. In San Antonio, most pay $13-$17/hr. That will let you live paycheck to paycheck, and, when the car breaks down or you need an MRI and have to worry about co-pays or rx pills, it will be a little tight.
Things to consider: Head towards teaching or non-profit management if you want to be helping people. If that does not satisfy your desire to help, volunteer. Get a career that pays well, whatever that might be, but go into something you enjoy doing. If possible, shadow a social worker or get a position as an intern. Try to see the inner workings.
I don't want to sound negative, as there are many decent paying jobs where you will be helping others. Social Services historically does not pay well. Please continue to explore other options, and think about what field may satisfy your desire to help while paying a decent wage.
Please let me know if you have further questions.