Finding a volunteer job is just like finding a job for pay: You should put some time into thinking about the type of work you'd like to do and then get an early start on the job-hunting process.

You can call an organization, agency, institution--even private corporation--where you think you'd like to work, or contact your local volunteer clearinghouse, which can put you in contact with agencies who accept teen-agers for summer volunteer jobs.

"When we interview young people for volunteer jobs we try to match up their career interests with volunteer positions," says James R. Lindsay, executive director of the District Volunteer Clearinghouse.

The D.C. Volunteer Clearinghouse also publishes a directory of volunteer opportunities for young people available to youngsters throughout the area. Some of the job opportunities: counselor, tutor, hotline operator, recreation aide, home visitor, office assistant, hospital aide.

Volunteer jobs, the clearinghouses stress, are not for everyone. Counselors remind parents that the desire to do volunteer work should come from the child and that parents should not regard volunteer jobs as substitute babysitters.

For more information, Energize Associates, a Philadelphia consulting firm specializing in volunteerism, has several books and other materials available on children and volunteerism. They can be reached at 5450 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia 19144. (215) 438-8342.

Among area volunteer clearinghouses: District

Volunteer Clearinghouse, 1313 New York Ave. NW, 638-2664. Maryland

Volunteer Bureau, 50 Monroe St., Rockville. 279-1666.

Voluntary Action Center, 3601 Taylor St., Brentwood. 779-9444.

Volunteer Center of Frederick Mental Health Association, 22 S. Market St., Frederick. (301) 663-0011. Northern Virgina

Volunteer Office of Department of Human Resources, 1800 N. Edison St., Arlington. 558-2654.

Volunteer Bureau, 418 S. Washington St., Alexandria. 836-2176.

Voluntary Action Center of Fairfax County Area, Inc., 10530 Page Ave., Fairfax. 691-3460.

Voluntary Action Center, 9035 Center St., Manassas. (703) 369-5292.