Because most curators work in museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, nature centers, and historical sites, their working conditions vary. Some spend their time working with the public, providing reference assistance and educational services. Some curators conduct research or process records, which reduces the opportunity to work with others. Those who restore and set up exhibits or work with bulky, heavy record containers may lift objects, climb, or stretch.
Curators in large institutions may travel extensively to evaluate potential additions to the collection, organize exhibits, and conduct research. However, for curators in small institutions, travel may be rare. Most curators work full time.